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Offishial news, 10/28/20: Dodgers did it; Starling’s option exercised

Even though the best team won, 2020 MLB season ends in controversy.

World Series - Tampa Bay Rays v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Six Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Dodgers crowned World Series champs

With a 3-1 win over the Rays in Game 6 on Tuesday night, the Los Angeles Dodgers captured their first championship since 1988. The most consistent MLB team of the past decade finally got over the hump! The Dodgers roster included catcher Austin Barnes (.320/.393/.440 in 29 PA this postseason), a former Marlins draft pick, and super-utility player Kiké Hernández (.214/.290/.464 in 31 PA), who had a brief tenure with the Fish in 2014. Congrats to them.

Although the 2020 season made it to the finish line amidst a pandemic, the “bubble” was pierced—moments after the final out, the FOX broadcast confirmed that Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner tested positive for COVID-19. He started the clinching game, remained in for several hours after MLB found out he had the virus, got subbed out in the seventh inning but then celebrated on the field with teammates afterwards.

As we observed months ago with how the Marlins’ outbreak was bungled, and in numerous instances since then, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred never made safety his utmost priority. This season was orchestrated to safeguard the league’s long-term revenue streams, doing the bare minimum to appease fans, corporate partners and health officials. Manfred was justifiably booed during the trophy presentation by those in attendance at Globe Life Field, with countless others joining in from their homes around the world.

Eager as I am for the 2021 campaign, it’s impossible to trust that he’ll be able to lead us through it successfully.

Starling stays

Wild Card Round - Miami Marlins v Chicago Cubs - Game One Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

No surprise, outfielder Starling Marte is now officially in the Marlins’ 2021 plans. The Associated Press reports that his $12.5 million club option has been exercised. Replicating his 2020 production—.281/.340/.430, 109 wRC+, 1.3 fWAR in 250 PA—while avoiding severe injuries would make him a good value at that salary.

Marte is going to be the most expensive player on the Marlins roster barring a big free agent splash or blockbuster trade.

The Marlins have until the end of this week to take action on Brandon Kintzler ($4 million club option with a $250,000 buyout). My gut tells me that they will decline the option and attempt to restructure his 2021 deal at a slightly lower base salary with added performance bonuses that he can earn by being durable and consistent.

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