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Morning Mound Visit: Offseason spending and contract lengths were way down this year

Teams spent almost $1 billion less; The effects of the rule changes; Who could the Mariners target in a trade?

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MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Toronto Blue Jays Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Evan Drellich | The Athletic $: This is the last year of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement and this winter was one of the last pieces of data that we’ll get to see how negotiations will go. Both spending and the average length of contracts were way down this year, but even without the pandemic, they were always going to be lower with a relatively weak free agent class. What does this offseason mean for the future?

Russell Carleton | Baseball Prospectus $: MLB is using the minors to experiment with a variety of rule changes in 2021. Among these changes are increasing the size of the bases and banning the infield shift. Here are the gory mathematical details of how these rules will affect the game.

Joe E. Doyle | Lookout Landing: Jerry Dipoto is supposedly open to trading for a controllable starter as soon as this year. There are a handful of pitchers with years left before they reach free agency. Who makes sense for the Mariners to acquire?