As Major League Baseball evaluates a wide range of scenarios for the 2020 season, one similarity in multiple plans that went public thus far called for teams relocating to a centralized location to begin the year.
The likes of Arizona, Florida and Texas have been discussed as potential sites for MLB games, while anywhere from two to nine additional states could be considered as well.
While most players have shown a willingness to play games in a centralized location to start the season, others are less open to the idea due to the possibility of leaving their families for upwards of four months.
During an appearance on “Dodger Talk” on AM 570 L.A. Sports, former Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier suggested that the league hold a fantasy baseball draft and form super teams for the 2020 season if too many players decide to sit the year out because of a potential need for quarantining:
“There’s a lot of guys who are reluctant to possibly leave their family for this amount of time and risk themselves possibly getting injured because they’re being rushed back or to play in a different type of season with games in Arizona and Florida, and maybe even get sick with this COVID-19 disease.
“If that’s the case, maybe let’s see who is willing to come out and play and have names put in a hat, draft teams accordingly and make some super All-Star teams. Maybe it’s the NL West, NL Central, you’ll have six teams across baseball. If there’s 100 guys who want to play, you assemble the best possible roster. You have NL West, NL Central and NL East battle it out over the course of 60-whatever games. You can throw all the AL teams in there and then you have mini playoffs with the two top teams from each league play, then you have the winners of those leagues play.”
While Ethier’s proposal is intriguing, there will likely be enough players on each team that report for the start of the 2020 season — if and whenever that may be. Furthermore, MLB is said to prefer a plan that allows for teams to use their home ballparks if local governments permit it.
Most Dodgers players, including Kenley Jansen and Gavin Lux, have already revealed they are onboard with any plan MLB chooses, while Clayton Kershaw stated he would not support the Arizona proposal.
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