Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association are in the midst of some eleventh-hour negotiations about expanding the playoffs for the 2020 season, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman tweets. An agreement would need to be in place before the first pitch of tomorrow’s Nationals/Yankees season opener. It’s not clear exactly when the two sides resumed their talks on an expanded postseason, which was a focal point of their failed negotiations in May and June, but Heyman suggests that there is “optimism” on both sides that an agreement will be reached.
During this summer’s return-to-play negotiations, which did not result in a deal (leading commissioner Rob Manfred to implement a 60-game season under their March arrangement), the league sought to expand the postseason format from 10 to 16 teams. The initial hope was for the change to take effect for both 2020 and 2021, but doing so would’ve required an agreement to be bargained with the players’ union. When that didn’t happen, the postseason status quo of 10 teams remained in place.
Since the 60-game season was implemented, MLBPA executive director Tony Clark has expressed a willingness to resume talks with Manfred’s office should the league push for renewed talks. Exactly what concessions the league is willing to make for the players remains unclear in this newly rebooted set of talks. But given the potential for upwards of $300MM in additional television revenue under an expanded postseason format, it’s hardly a surprise that MLB is seeking one last go at hammering out an agreement.
Not sure if I like this large of an expansion, but a 60 game season could be a good way to test it.
It definitely seems worth in a 60 game season.
Or better. Good teams will get another shot while bad teams will get weeded out
SoxRewl: I don’t know if I necessarily agree with your point. Baseball isn’t a sport where the best team wins all the time, even in five or seven game series. There’s no perfect way to determine a champion. Baseball’s 10 teams is a good number that is inclusive and makes the regular season actually mean something.
That being said, I’d be happy with experimenting with a bigger playoff field this season. I hope we see some funky stuff happen and more playoff teams make that more probable. Instead of trying to keep it as normal as possible I’d like to see MLB lean into this chaos environment where we may see some great achievements and improbable upsets. That makes the game more fun.
Hopefully this falls apart like their other negotiations.
Agreed. Extending the playoffs just cheapens an already questionable season. This isn’t the NBA or the NHL, thank goodness. Have some dignity MLB.
Pete, this season is already gonna have an asterisk next to it, so why not try things like the 3 batter minimum, the universal DH, and expanded playoffs that could help the future of the game we all love!!!
Just like the Dodgers world series during a strike shortened season has an * next to it, right? Oh wait, it doesn’t have an * next to it.
What baseball needs the most is the pitch clock. Games are waaay too long to attract the younger viewing audience. There’s nothing worse than seeing a pitcher take 30 seconds to get set on the mound, then shake off a series of signs from the catcher. Grinds the game to a halt.
I’m okay with the 3 batter minimum and the DH (for one year), but the expanded playoffs just cheapen the whole idea of a champion.
Yes, give us remaining fans one last kick to the nuts. Thanks!
Probably a good year to experiment with things like this as they could move the World Series to a domed or southern stadium since their wouldn’t be home fans anyway. However, in typical seasons the 162-game schedule would need to be shortened given weather realities across much of the country at both ends of the season.
Oh lord. This again? Really???
Money over sense, as always. They couldn’t care less about what the fans think unless your face is on the dollar bills.
Let them talk, let them agree on SOMETHING that appears to be positive to both sides.
With the CBA expiring, it would be a positive step forward if the two sides could negotiate and agree on SOMETHING….
Positive to all sides except the fans by watering down the playoffs
Yeah no thanks
i really dont get this argument. who cares? the best team will win anyway, and if they dont, then clearly they weren’t the best team.
Then let’s let every team into the postseason. The best team will still win, after all.
you know that’s not what i mean. the regular season still means something with expanded playoffs.
Every other league has more playoffs. Baseball is falling in viewership because people have teams they can watch who actually go to the playoffs.
This is the last reason viewership is falling.
Actually it’s probably near the top of the list. Teams are practically eliminated in April most seasons. Let’s give those fans a little more hope
It’s never hurt the NBA
More baseball. No weather concerns (if they play indoors). I like it.
i really hope we get this to happen. best rule change of the year.
If they make the opening round a best of 3 it’s a bad idea. That would allow a bad team to take out a good team. Last thing MLB would want in late October is a bunch of bad teams playing for that hunk of metal.
Sixteen teams? Wow, they’re really cheapening the regular season. In the future maybe we can have 70-92 playoff teams.
Ancient Expos Fan
At 60 games the regular season is already severely cheapened. Allowing 16 teams in this year simply makes it more likely that a solid team that stumbles out of the gate – like last year’s Nats- might have the opportunity to sneak in.
It is unlikely there will be another season like this one to try different things. Hope they can hammer out the details before Mad Max toes the rubber.
Why does it cheapen the regular season?
And the Marlins still won’t get in.
Especially after that backhanded slap to the Angels.
For one weird season, whatever, fine. But as a norm, 16 is way too many. If more than half the teams in your league make the playoffs by default, you completely destroy the specialness of making the playoffs in the first place.
Normally yes but with a shortened season let it play out with 16 teams. Every team tries harder if they feel like they have a chance. Last year the Nationals had a losing record in the 1st 60 games. This year that wouldn’t get them in.
The playoffs were cheapened when it became a ‘playoff’ instead of a ‘World Series’ back in 1969. More so in 1995 with the Wild Card being added. C’mon, there is no magic anymore of the playoffs being a final between the 2 best teams. The regular season is to sort out the weakest teams, the playoffs a crapshoot for the best ones. 10 or 16 teams really makes no difference to me. Just adds more baseball, which is a good thing.
Do you really want your team to have to beat out 14 other teams in your league to get to the WS.???
By August maybe 4 teams in each league have a chance. And the fans of the other 22 teams are not watching or attending games. It’s bad for baseball.
Heh. Just pointing out how it was and that the ‘watering down the playoffs’ argument was lost long, long ago. The wild card was the last straw on it – with divisions you had to be the best in a group over 162, but now you just have to be 2nd best (or now 3rd best) over 162. I personally prefer the idea of 16 in the playoffs (probably due to the 22 years of no playoff baseball here in Toronto).
Playoffs are a different season vs regular and more fans need to accept that. You can be excited your team was best over 162 but accept they weren’t the best in a short series. Sucked as a Jays fan to see them lose to a weaker team in 1985 (the Royals who won the WS, Jays won 99 Royals 91 and the WS loser Cardinals 101) but that is life.
wild bill tetley
Good points JNorthey. The one thing baseball can do is force the WC team to go through a tougher road, maybe only have 1 home game in the ALDS against the #1 seed. Or have to play every game on the road to get to the ALCS. Reward the team with the best record in that round. Something like that.
My response was to jnortley btw
I don’t see why any of us are bothered by this. Water down the playoffs even more? This years playoffs is already going to have an asterisk next to it. What’s the worst that can happen? A .500 team might win the world series? We’ve already seen three wild card teams win a World Series so I think it’s interesting. I say let them experiment to their heats content..except maybe the scoring position runner during extra innings. I really hate that rule change.
Let’s go for it baseball needs some good news and if two more teams can make the playoffs then so be it.
I hope it fails. If it happens, it will never end.
Angels & NL West
And the best part is that there will not be prolonged negotiations as this must be inked by game time tomorrow.
Btw, Tony and Rob, if you come to MLBTR to gauge support for your proposals, mark me down as a yes – I’m in favor of expanded playoffs.
I didn’t think about this until I read your post. That is a really good point. We won’t have to develop all that annoyance with several weeks of reports about players and owners fighting over the money that WE put into the game.
This is awful. I quit baseball permanently if there’s expanded playoffs. The runner at second in the 10th is disgusting enough.
OK quit now you won’t be missed
Bye. Comments like I’m quit are so juvenile. I agree with the extra inning thing but I’m not going to pout and quit
It’s a money grab. I won’t give them my money. It’s not ok to diss your longtime fans to market to 12 year old kids who don’t already watch baseball.
what a terrible and mediocre idea. Stop messing with the sport.
From 10-12 would be okay, I think, and then get rid of that ridiculous 1-game play-in game and just make it a 3-game series. But 16 is too many. I understand the argument about it watering down the regular season, and I agree with it to some extent. However, I think there is a justification for SOME expanded playoffs as a way to develop and maintain fan interest in the game overall. Giving a bit more hope to the fans of mediocre teams (say, BIG market teams like the Phillies/Mets/Angels or smaller-market teams like the Rays/A’s/Reds) would go a long way to improving the overall interest in the game, and I think that’s what MLB is focused on right now. For the lifelong baseball-obsessed fans, yeah, they don’t care as much about us; they know that they’d have to do something stupidly drastic in order to make us lose interest–and I don’t think going from 10-12 is THAT drastic. The benefits (more fan interest overall) far outweigh the costs (pissing off a few “NEVER CHANGE THE RULES” fans). Turning new, casual, or not-so-hardcore fans into more interested fans is something that I think can and will happen with more cities involved in the postseason tournament.
I don’t want a :500 team champion, sorry but I don’t buy it. I also don’t like the 1 game playoff go back to the 4 teams per league..
Why does it matter if they can win four postseason series without home field advantage? That’s a legit champion in my book
So why bother the 162 games, go directly to the playoffs make them all 30 teams in yupiiiiii (sarcasm).
Yes, going to 6 teams per league is equivalent to everyone being in. Even if they went to 8 teams, it’s still almost half the league left out.
I’m pulling for it, for this year only.
It’s like passing a “temporary” tax increase. I’ve never seen one get reversed when it expired. If this happens, it will be the norm moving forward. Anything that makes more money for MLB and owners will never be reversed once it’s implemented.
I don’t like it. I also don’t like the one game playoff we have now. I like one team from each division and a wild card from each league. The best 8 teams is plenty. Otherwise it seems like we’re handing out effort trophies.
I agree prov. It feels to me like their trying to put water into my beer.
MLB and The NBA are about to learn a big lesson. When you support a racist terrorist organization and plaster the propaganda on the field you will lose 60% of your fan base. Both leagues are going to lose a lot of money and they’ll blame it on something else.
Idiotic comment. Having the BLM logo on the field for opening weekend is not going to lose a real baseball fan. As for the NBA, it fits with their player demographics so they don’t lose anything either
BLM is a racist violent terror organization. You have a television right? Every single night these thugs are burning, looting and killing people. Truth hurts. Real fans won’t put up with support of this hate group.
If you think BLM is rioting, you need to wake up. It is Antifa that is the issue in that regard.
Since so many things are different in 2020 I am ok with it.. beyond 2020 I don’t really like it. As a Padres fan whose team hasn’t sniffed the playoffs in over a decade it feels cheap if we finally make it as say the 16th team.
wild bill tetley
Just for this year, have at it. People have already written off this 2020 season so why not make it more interesting with an expanded playoff? Let’s give more teams just for this year something to look forward to.
Then go back to normal in 2021, perhaps revisit other options prior to the next CBA.
This would be amazing! Mostly because it gives the Blue Jays a better shot. Get it done!
I was so excited to have baseball return but now I’m taking a knee. I hope the season and the postseason will be a huge flop.
I hope all sorts of things that you enjoy turn to ash in your mouth as well.
It will make for a fascinating trade deadline. Can use see the Front Office in Fenway if they’re close?
(Owner) John Henry: “Get me some players”!
(GM) Chaim Bloom: I don’t want to empty the farm system”.
Henry:” Enjoy the rest of your career in Tampa Bay. “
Now is the time for a 48-team league.
Why would teams spend on the very elite players (25m +) if more than half teams make playoffs?. No good for players and fans who don’t apreciate .500 teams champions.
Sure, why not. 60 games not nearly enough to really separate the good from the mediocre teams. Washington would have missed the playoffs last year if we stopped after 60 games. So more teams in the playoffs is a fair thing to do given the circumstances. Would also allow the owners to recoup some of their “losses.” But lets be clear on this, this should be a one time thing due to the shortened season.
Just please make them a 3-game minimum for the first round. 1-game playoffs would be lame if there were a bunch of them.
giants number 1 fan
DH in the NL, softball rules in extra innings, watered down playoffs, a 60 game season without fans, and the Blue Jays still don’t have a home ballpark.
What an effing joke.
NO playoff expansion unless it’s ONLY 1 more per league (6 each league). Everyone wants to see the best so allow the top 2 teams in each to automatically qualify for semis while seeds 3-6 play off in a best of 3 to see who joins the top 2 in each league. NEVER EVER 16 teams. not even this yr (covid 19 excuse or not). 1 extra playoff team benefit allows for greater reg season playoff races as more teams are in til the end and ALLOWS for greater playoff fan interest and overall MLB/ MLBPA income when converting that 3 v 6 & 4 v 5 matchups into a 3 game series over CONSECUTIVE days (don’t draw it out longer then that). then the 2 winners meet the top 2 seeds in the semis ( same thing happens in the AL & NL) .
The dodgers worst 60 game stretch was worse than the rockies and giants best 60 game stretch last year. If those would happen to coincide this year and the dodgers missed the playoffs this year I can’t even imagine.
16 teams is way too many. How would that even work. The 4 wild card winners? WC 1 vs WC 4 and WC 2 VS 3. Best 2 out 3.
A 60 game season is bad enough. Please don’t cheapen the playoffs by letting over half of the teams in.