MLB Rumors: Owners Approve Proposal To Present To Players Association For 2020 Regular Season
Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports

When Major League Baseball cancelled remaining Spring Training games and delayed the start of the 2020 regular season, the sport was immediately thrust into a state of uncertainty amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

While Opening Day was initially pushed back two weeks, an indefinite postponement followed shortly after. Over several weeks MLB and the Players Association have engaged in discussions on myriad topics.

They first addressed pay — with players receiving lump sums to cover April and May and agreeing to prorated salaries for 2020 — as well as service time. Then an agreement on the 2020 MLB Draft, and more recently the focus has been on how and when to begin the regular season.

According to Joel Sherman of The New York Post, team owners approved a proposal that is now set to be presented to the MLBPA:

MLB owners agreed Monday to the proposal that will be officially sent to the Players Association with the hope of initiating a new round of negotiations as early as Tuesday that most optimistically would begin spring training in about a month and start the season in the first week of July.

The plan owners approved for the 2020 regular season include an outline to essentially play an estimated 80 games. Within that, the hope is home ballparks can host Spring Training 2.0 and regular-season games as well.

MLB initially was said to be exploring scenarios where all 30 teams played in Arizona; a plan to use Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues and stadiums; and the viability of Arizona, Florida and Texas serving as hubs. It wasn’t until recently that indications pointed to MLB preferring to use regular stadiums.

In light of a full regular season being lost, MLB is proposing expanding the playoffs from 10 to 14 teams. In February, it was reported the league had begun evaluating changing the postseason format for the 2020 season.

Other changes that could come in 2020 include a universal designated hitter, and teams playing opponents within their division and regional division of the opposite league. For the Los Angeles Dodgers, that would amount to facing American League West clubs — most notably the Houston Astros.

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