Major League Baseball owners have approved a proposal from the league for the 2020 season to present to the MLB Players’ Union, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. The two sides are expected to meet sometime on Tuesday to discuss said plan.
This marks another step towards potentially getting Major League Baseball this year, and as ESPN’s Jeff Passan states, “now is when it starts to get serious.”
Of course, where things go from here depends on how the players’ union feels about all this.
For starters, “Because games, at least initially, will be played without fans, the players’ would be asked to accept a further reduction in pay, most likely by agreeing to a set percentage of revenues for this season only.”
This idea of revenue sharing is apparently a ‘non-starter’ in any proposal the union gets from the league, per The New York Post’s Joel Sherman. Other hurdles include “making players comfortable with protocols/personnel/equipment that play can resume safely,” as well as where teams will play their games.
More specifically, according to Rosenthal, “Teams unable to open in their cities [due to the COVID-19 pandemic] temporarily would relocate, either to their spring training sites or major-league parks in other parts of the country. The same would apply to spring training 2.0 if the league decides to use mostly home parks as opposed to returning to Florida and Arizona.”
The problem with this is that “Not all clubs agree they should train in their home parks, believing spring locales offer a less densely populated, more controlled environment.”
Regionalized schedules consisting of anywhere between 78-82 games and expanded playoffs have also been discussed, while a universal designated hitter and expanded rosters could also be implemented if there is indeed baseball in 2020.
That final part, for now, is still up in the air, though. And although I can’t say for sure, it would appear that the players’ union has final say on the matter. We should hear more about where the MLBPA goes with this on Tuesday.