PITTSBURGH — As it stands right now, pitchers and catchers across the league are due to start reporting to spring training in about two weeks. Major League Baseball is proposing moving that back a month.
Per a report by Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports, on Friday MLB proposed to the union to delay the season a month and play a 154-game season instead. The regular season would be extended by a week, and players will receive their full pay despite the season being shortened 5%. As a tradeoff, the postseason will be expanded.
Jared Diamond adds the deal includes the National League adopting the DH, while the number of playoff teams goes from 16 in 2020 to 14 in 2021.
Brown says the players association is considering the deal. Given how nasty the last set of negotiations to get the season started were, with the union almost instantaneously shooting down most of the league’s offers, the fact that this is still on the table is significant.
The league’s proposal comes days after a Cactus League task force comprising of league officials and Arizona government officials sent a letter to commissioner Rob Manfred requesting to delay spring training in the area because of the area’s high number of COVID-19 cases. The Cactus League does not have the authority to delay the start of spring training, but if MLB decides that if teams can’t start the season there, they can’t have camps going on in Florida either.