MLB Rumors: Players Association Expected To Reject Proposed Delay, Expanded Postseason

Despite facing concerns with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that brought about sweeping changes and a unique 2020 season, MLB and the Players Association have maintained for several weeks the plan remains to open camps for the scheduled start of 2021 Spring Training.

However, MLB reportedly issued a warning to teams that players were not permitted to report early and begin workouts. Teams that permitted such activity were subject to discipline from the league office.

While the publicly stated plan has been for Spring Training to start as expected in February, multiple issues are still hanging in the balance. Chief among them being health and safety protocols.

Meanwhile, on Sunday it was reported MLB presented the MLBPA with a proposal to delay the start of the regular season and reduce the schedule to 154 games with full pay. According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the union will reject that idea:

The Major League Baseball Players Association is expected to reject MLB’s proposal to delay the season by a month after having discussions and taking votes among the executive council and player representatives, two people with knowledge of the talks told USA TODAY Sports. The people requested anonymity because the negotiations are ongoing.

The Cactus League previously wrote a letter to MLB asking that the start of Spring Training be pushed back one month in the interest of public safety. It was said league officials influenced the Cactus League to present the request to commissioner Rob Manfred, which MLB has denied.

Part of MLB’s latest pitch to the Players Association reportedly entailed pushing Spring Training back to March 22, a universal designated hitter and expanded postseason. The MLBPA previously rejected a trade off involving the universal DH and a bigger playoff field for 2021.

It’s unclear if the union will flatly reject MLB’s latest offer, or submit a counter as well. Beyond mistrust between the two sides, further complicating matters is the timing. Some — if not most — players have already finalized housing plans in Arizona and Floria.

Nelson Cruz has some level of interest in Dodgers

Throughout much of the offseason the prevailing thought was the universal DH would return this year. That no longer appears be the case, but if there is a reversal, Nelson Cruz reportedly would have some interest in signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Beyond uncertainty on whether MLB and the MLBPA will reach an agreement, Cruz reportedly is in talks to re-sign with the Minnesota Twins.

Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in our shows, and more!