As had been anticipated, the Major League Baseball Players Association formally voted to reject the 60-game proposal they received last week, putting the ball back in commissioner Rob Manfred’s court.
MLB announced shortly after being turned down that it would proceed with a 2020 season. Though the league didn’t offer a schedule with a specific amount of games, the expectation was that Manfred would implement a 60-game regular season.
For that figure to hold and not be reduced, the union was asked to give two assurances. The first being that players can report to Spring Training 2.0 by no later than July 1.
The second request was that the two sides agree to health and safety protocols for this year. As of early June, the two sides remained apart in talks, but the league was said to have signed off on most of the feedback given by players.
Needing to provide a response by 2 p.m. PT, the Players Association has reportedly agreed to the two criteria, paving the way for a shortened season that will begin later this summer, per Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY:
#MLB and the #MLBPA continue to exchange ideas with the health and safety protocols. There are no major snags. The union already informed MLB that it plans to play, and be in spring training camps by July 1 with a 60-game season starting July 24-26 weekend.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) June 23, 2020
MLB agrees to union’s proposal in health/safety protocol that all players who cohabitate with a high-risk individual, including a pregnant spouse, has the right to opt out and be paid with service time. Previously, it was only high-risk players who could opt out and still be paid
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) June 24, 2020
With MLB opting to impose a 2020 campaign, certain components of framework previously discussed will no longer be coming to the sport. A universal designated hitter is only guaranteed to be in place for this season, rather than both 2020 and 2021.
Furthermore, this season will not see an expanded postseason field, which team owners were strongly behind. Other benefits that were scrapped include a guaranteed $25 million in playoff pools and $33 million in salary forgiveness to players.
Now that an official plan for the 2020 season has been finalized, players will be expected to report their home ballparks within the next week. After participating in a second camp that is expected to last three weeks, regular-season contests are expected to ensue as soon as July 24.
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