Details of MLB proposal to restart 2020 season emerge

MLB is expected to make its first formal proposal to the union on Tuesday on how it envisions a season could be played, featuring roughly an 80-game regular season and teams playing exclusively in their regions.

The plan, which was detailed by three sources, still must be approved by MLB owners. But if so, what would be recommended is a spring training 2.0 that starts in June, a regular season beginning in July, expanded playoffs, no minor-league-feeder system for this year and, thus, enlarged rosters. The Athletic first reported many of these details.

All of this is fragile.

MLB is still at the mercy that enough state and local governments will permit teams to gather either in their home stadiums, spring sites or somewhere else to allow preparation for a season, much less playing one.

MLB still has to demonstrate to the Players Association that it has a plan to keep players safe from the coronavirus. In this plan, for example, even moving regionally, players would still have to travel by plane and be housed in hotels, and for clubs such as the Marlins and Mariners there are large distances to cover even staying in their time zones.

Also, the MLB plan will ask the players to take a pay cut because, at least to begin and possibly all year, there will be no fans and, thus, no revenue from ticket sales, parking, concessions and luxury suites. The union has stated that the March 26 agreement with MLB covered this area, assuring the players they would receive a pro-rated total of their salary — thus about 50 percent in an 80-game schedule. The union has indicated there is no budge in its position on this.

MLB currently is equally inflexible. The Commissioners Office has said that the March 26 pact calls for further negotiations about player salaries if there are relocations or no spectators. MLB has said it will lose more money by keeping the pay pro-rated without fans and is averse to playing games in that situation.

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