How to handle salary increases and arbitration in the case of no 2020 MLB season

Hey, I’ve got a question. I know it’s still really early and we’re all hopeful that we’ll be able to get the season rolling at some point, but I’ve been wondering what would happen with inflation if the season were cancelled. I feel like if no games are played, it would make sense to skip salary increases and arbitration and just go straight into keepers & auction for 2021. Otherwise, it seems like most players would end up having their surplus wiped out, as there’s really no way to gain surplus with no games going on.

Have you given any thought to this?


A few folks have asked about this and I think its a pretty fair/reasonable question.

My current stance is that we’re going to follow the lead of MLB and the MLBPA. Right now, they have a tentative agreement that will give service time to players even if this season is shortened or does not happen.

So, if there is no MLB season in 2020, I’m leaning towards:

  1. Position eligibility remains in place based on 2019 games played.
  2. Salary increases happen as normal, since service time will accrue as normal in real life
  3. Arbitration will be in place, though your leagues can choose to entirely skip arbitration if you want.

This is all subject to change, and I’ll make it very clear on how Ottoneu will proceed if MLB does officially cancel the 2020 season.


Just my $0.02, but I would be in favor of no salary increases/arbitration if the full 2020 season is cancelled. That way we can see the fruit of what we put together in the 2019-20 off-season and draft, and not have to start over.


Kind of agree with Scott, especially for start up leagues. Any thoughts to allowing this as an option for each league to vote on if necessary before next season?

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Appreciate the feedback, but it’s April 1st. We will deal with this if and when it comes up.

I spun this conversation into its own thread so that it can continue without stepping on the refund news in the original thread.

You’ve probably got other things on your mind, but in the event no baseball is played in 2020, I was wondering what, if anything, might happen with regards to the automatic salary increases.

Real-world teams are already facing these similar salary management questions as MLB has said 2020 will count towards service time & contracts, potentially without having any 2020 performances taking place.

I assume unless otherwise posted, Ottoneu’s rules for the next offseason will remain as is. But clarification on that assumption would be helpful.

Edit: Thanks Niv, didn’t see this thread for some reason.

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I agree. Even if the season is truncated I feel that salary increase on MLB should decrease from $2 to $1 and arb money should be decreased from $25 to say $15. It’s unfair to every team, regardless of their teams life cycle, to have all the price jumps on the team they assembled and dreamed on. Furthermore, if we have no season then I believe increases on all players and arb should be canceled, accordingly.

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Now that we are looking at a ten week MLB regular season and essentially no MiLB season, I believe we should cut the salary adjustment to zero and limit allocation to $15.

Yes, flags fly forever, but a 50 game season really cuts into the odds of the better teams winning. Everyone will be a year older next year, a penalty in its own right. We can and should hold a draft in spring of 2021, but those who like most of their teams should be allowed to keep most or all of them without incurring an extra $70 or so in roster cost.