10:09pm: The players would have $33MM of the $170MM advance they received from their March agreement with the owners forgiven, per Heyman. Teams, meanwhile, would be able to sell advertisements on uniforms in 2020 and ’21 in order to increase their revenues, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
6:16pm: The proposal adds the designated hitter position to the NL in 2020 and ’21, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweets.
2:14pm: The postseason would expand to sixteen teams, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter).
With multiple reporters floating the concept, it sounds as if the expectation is for the union to press for some modest increase in the number of games beyond the sixty proposed. The MLBPA has made clear it hasn’t yet agreed to anything.
2:07pm: The proposal is indeed for sixty games with full pro rata pay, Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports on Twitter. The season would begin on July 19th.
2:00pm: The proposal is for at least sixty games, Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette tweets.
1:34pm: MLB has sent the union a new formal proposal, per Evan Drellich of The Athletic (via Twitter). At the moment, the sides haven’t yet reached an agreement in principle, let alone a full and binding accord. But it certainly seems as if there’s momentum towards a common goal of getting back to work.
Per Heyman (Twitter link), several major pillars of the potential agreement are moving in place, at least conceptually: The players will receive pro-rated pay, the league will get an expanded postseason, and players will waive any potential grievance to seek additional compensation.
1:25pm: In a major potential breakthrough, in-person league and union negotiations appear to be bearing fruit. The sides are “closing in” on a deal to resume play in 2020, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network (Twitter link).
If you’ve followed even some of the long-running saga over the pandemic-interrupted season, this comes as quite welcome news. While the vitriol had ramped up in recent weeks, it seems the sides pulled back from the brink of a potentially disastrous season cancellation.
You’ll be forgiven for wondering whether all the posturing truly should’ve been necessary, particularly given that it occurred against a backdrop of much more important events. But there’s still time for MLB and the MLB Players Association to put much of the pain in the background if they can come together and stage a compelling 2020 campaign.
Just over three months have passed since Spring Training went on ice as COVID-19 swept into the United States. The sides reached agreement not long thereafter on a preliminary agreement to resume play. But they were soon arguing over whether that deal’s pay provisions — pro rata, game for game salary for players — applied even if teams were not able to collect a gate.