With Spring Training set to open just a few weeks from now, it appears that Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association are again at the table and negotiating. Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown reports that the league has proposed a shortened 154-game schedule that would be delayed by a month. That proposal would include full pay for the players, but also an expanded postseason.
To be very clear, if the season were to go 154 games, and there's no real guarantee of that, then the players would be paid in full. Also, you may recall, the union already has rejected expanded postseason. https://t.co/4oUGW8USch— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) January 31, 2021
Discussing any sort of prorated salaries has been a non-starter for the union. The league seems to be intent on an expanded postseason for 2021.
No word on whether or not the Universal DH is a part of the proposal. Per Brown’s report, the union is considering this most recent proposal. (Update) - The Universal DH is also part of this proposal according to MLB Insider Joel Sherman.
Yes, heard what @TBrownYahoo is reporting here. The universal DH was also part of this offer. Reg season would begin likely in late April. Also heard union had a player call Saturday to discuss this. https://t.co/2rkrb8mdHs— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) January 31, 2021
It is good that both sides are finally beginning to show some urgency after nothing but silence for most of the offseason. While all parties have said that they are planning for Spring Training and the regular season to begin on time, that might not be the best idea given the Covid situation in both Florida and Arizona. This proposal would buy them some time and a delayed start would give them a better chance of increased attendance at regular season games. No doubt, this story is just getting started.
Update - More details on the time frame associated with the latest proposal.
Under MLB's proposal, spring training would start March 22nd, and the regular season April 28, with the postseason carrying over into November.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) January 31, 2021
Final Update - A very valid point by Jeff Passan. If a deal isn’t struck, then there will still be a season with players reporting to spring training in a couple of weeks and Opening Day on April 1.
Here's a very, very important point in light of the MLB-MLBPA talks:— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 31, 2021
If there is not a deal ... there is still going to be baseball, so long as governmental authorities allow it, which they're doing with every other sport.
In fact, absent a deal, Opening Day will be April 1.