Major League Baseball continues to hold discussions with the MLB Players Association regarding a number of topics centered around the 2020 season, which is currently on hold and likely will be shortened due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
They have already come to an agreement on a few topics, including service time as it as decided that players can still receive credit for a full year of service even if the season is shortened.
That means new Los Angeles Dodgers star Mookie Betts could enter free agency without ever playing a game for the organization. MLB has also discussed the potential of playing postseason games at neutral sites if the season extends into November or December.
Additionally, it appears they are also talking about expanding the postseason field as a bit of an experiment, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network:
MLB may expand the playoffs from 10 teams to 14 this year. It’s been proposed for subsequent years but this could be the time to experiment. Would also be a way to add big games, boost excitement and yes revenue. Nothing close to final. Almost anything is on table.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 27, 2020
Expanding the postseason to seven teams per league is not a new topic as it was reported as possibility in February, along with a radical change that would allow teams to handpick their opponents.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is among those in favor of expanding the postseason, although he has a different idea in mind. Roberts wants to see the Division Series expanded from best-of-five to seven games. The Dodgers lost to the Wild-Card Washington Nationals in five games in the NLDS in 2019.
With the 2020 regular season expected to be shortened due to the coronavirus, it would make sense to allow more teams an opportunity to reach the postseason. How they format the postseason series remains to be seen, but if the Dodgers win the NL West for an eighth consecutive season, as they are expected to, then it likely would not affect them as much.
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