1:07pm: Owners approved the proposal for the union, Rosenthal tweets. The league and union are expected to sit down to discuss the proposal tomorrow. Sherman tweets that the MLBPA considers the league’s revenue sharing proposition a “nonstarter,” further underscoring that substantial hurdles need to be navigated.
11:50am: The league is preparing to present the Players Association with a proposal for the resumption of play in 2020, and the team’s 30 owners will vote on the final iteration later today, per USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. Once finalized, the proposal will be presented to the union.
Many elements of the proposal have already been leaked to various media outlets. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich reported over the weekend that a revenue-sharing plan with players was being “floated,” and Nightengale adds that such a plan is indeed on the table today. The proposal would see owners share “at least 48 percent” of revenue with the MLBPA in 2020. Similar setups exist in the NBA and the NFL. Owners will also vote on a universal DH for 2020, as Joel Sherman suggested over the weekend.
A couple of previously reported elements have already been agreed upon, per Nightengale: the expansion from 10 to 14 postseason teams in 2020 and a limited travel schedule wherein teams play only division rivals and the five teams in the opposite league’s corresponding division (e.g. the Padres play only the other four NL West clubs and the five AL West clubs during the regular season). A mid-June reboot for spring (summer?) training and an early July return to regular-season play remain the hope and best-case scenario, though scheduling is still dependent on input from government officials and public health experts.
The owners and commissioner’s office are also hopeful that teams will be able to host training camp and regular-season games (sans fans in attendance) at their home parks. Nightengale does make mention of a possible facility share between close-proximity rivals in the event that one team’s state government regulations render play at its home stadium not feasible. Such clubs could also look into moving games to their spring site, per the report, though in some cases, that would seemingly run counter to the more stringent travel restrictions this proposal seeks to establish.
There’s still no word on what sort of plan is in place in the event of a positive test or tests among active players and coaches — or of a larger outbreak within a tightly packed clubhouse. To that end, Rosenthal spoke with a number of players with underlying medical conditions in order to get their feelings on a return to play (subscription required). David Dahl, Scott Alexander, Adam Duvall, Jordan Hicks, Carlos Carrasco, Kenley Jansen, Anthony Rizzo and Jon Lester all spoke with Rosenthal about their intentions to play despite some current or previous health concerns. Dahl, who had his spleen removed in 2015, acknowledged that it’s “definitely scary” and said his immune system is “pretty bad.” Still, he expressed trust in Rockies medical officials and the broader expertise of public health experts in voicing his willingness to return to the field.
That said, Rosenthal also notes that there are numerous players with underlying medical conditions which are not public knowledge, and there are plenty more with higher-risk immediate family members that are the source of concern. It’s a complicated scenario for players in those circumstances — one that has reportedly led some to inquire with the union about what would happen should they opt not to play in 2020 (via last week’s report from Jeff Passan of ESPN.com). It’s also a reminder that ownership approval of a proposal today is just one of many steps that need to be taken before play actually resumes.