I expect the particulars of the proposal will filter out today, but for now we know one thing: the owners conferenced and approved a proposal for the return of baseball.
Now they will take it to the players:
MLB owners have approved a proposal for the 2020 season to present to the players’ union, source tells The Athletic. Meeting expected between union and league tomorrow.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) May 11, 2020
The MLB owners have approved a proposal to present to players, as @Ken_Rosenthal reported. They plan to meet tomorrow to discuss it.
Now is when it starts to get serious. And we'll know soon enough if baseball is actually coming back in 2020.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) May 11, 2020
The proposal is expected to include, among other things, an 80ish game schedule, which would begin in early July. Teams would play in their normal divisions, but a geographically limited schedule. There would be a universal DH, expanded playoffs, and a Spring Training Part Two kicking off next month at home parks or spring facilities. More details here.
All of that stuff is certainly interesting, and is an important part of the planning process. But we all know the two much, much more important items that will be addressed in the proposal: how do you keep players and personnel as safe and healthy as possible, and how do you fairly compensate players? Reports on the latter indicate the plan is to ask the players to accept a revenue-sharing model, which – on the surface – is fraught with problems.
More as it comes out, likely throughout the afternoon/evening and into tomorrow. I expect us to hear some initial reactions from the players, but I’d encourage a little bit of caution before getting too excited or too angry when you see the bits that come out – we probably won’t really get the full picture for a while. And even then, remember: everything about the return to baseball is subject to the unpredictable virus.
The wheels, though, are officially now in motion.
UPDATE: Joel Sherman writes more on the situation here, and notes that because the league and the players have actually been in communication on these topics for weeks, the players probably already have a good sense of what will be in the proposal.
A couple more specifics, according to Sherman: the season would be 82 games, and rosters would expand to 30 players. There would also be a 20-player “taxi squad” to help fill in the gaps as they arise throughout the season. Since there aren’t going to be typical minor leagues this year, that’s going to be your pool of players from which to draw call-ups.
UPDATE 2: Bob Nightengale, who earlier reported that the expected revenue split request was going to yield 48% of revenues this year to the players, now says the figure is actually 50%. I still question whether this is the right – or fair – approach for the players.