After weeks of discussions, Major League Baseball team owners agreed on a 2020 season proposal that will now be sent to the Players Association for further approval.
The plan calls for teams starting the year in their home ballparks — albeit without fans in the stands. Opening Day would reportedly take place in early July, and an outline for an estimated 80-game schedule was also submitted.
What’s more, clubs would play opponents based on their geographical location. This means the Los Angeles Dodgers could potentially face the Houston Astros just months after the organization was found guilty of electronically stealing signs during the 2017 season.
Other potential changes include the implementation of a universal DH and an expanded playoffs format. As for off-the-field matters, team owners are also requesting that players take further pay cuts, via ESPN’s Jeff Passan:
Money is at the heart of the return, sources said. Owners, fearful of deep financial losses with fan-free stadiums, agreed in a conference call Monday afternoon to a plan that includes a 50-50 revenue split with the players, sources told ESPN.
MLB and the Players Association previously agreed on a compensation system for the 2020 season, but the prospect of those terms being altered always loomed large due to the likelihood that fans won’t be permitted to attend games this year.
Ticket sales are one of MLB’s biggest sources of revenue, and without them, the league will suffer significant financial losses. Owners are concerned by this possibility, and thus, are asking players to accept a 50-50 revenue split.
This request likely won’t go over well with the Players Association, which could lead to them turning down MLB’s initial proposal to carry forward with the 2020 season.
The union is reportedly set to counter with the original terms that the two sides agreed to in March, which allows players to receive a prorated salary based on the number of games played this year.
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