The losers of the MLB offseason aren’t who you were thinking

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In the immediate aftermath of the signing of a new collective bargaining agreement, the A’s undertook a teardown and the Reds continued one that began before the lockout.

The knee-jerk, sound-bite reaction was to say that neither brutal negotiations for a new CBA nor the new document itself discouraged tanking. Deterring teams from tactically sinking to the bottom was a key tenet for the union. And what the A’s and Reds have done has played as a blatant disregard for that push.

I agree this new CBA does not do enough to depress tanking. But I would argue against that the A’s and Reds are partaking in classic tanking.

We must come to accept that even if every team tried its best in, say, 2022, there will still be a 30th-best team, a 29th, a 28th, etc. There has to be a worst. And one of the most self-defeating mistakes a franchise can make is not being honest internally about where in the winning cycle it is. I will get to more of this in a bit.

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