The ball has started to roll. Yesterday, Major League Baseball owners voted to move forward on a proposal to start the 2020 season, according to multiple sources. The proposal now goes to the Major League Baseball Players Association for their approval. The league and the MLBPA will reportedly meet today to discuss the proposal.
Within the proposal is some more details on how the 2020 season could play out if this proposal were to be agreed upon:
- 82-game season: The season would be cut in (almost) half from 162 games down to 82 total.
- Designated hitter: The DH spot would be implemented in National League ballparks for 2020.
- Postseason expansion: The postseason will include 14 teams, upped from the normal 10 teams.
- Revenue sharing: The owners have approved that 48% of the revenue will be shared with players.
- Rosters: Active rosters will expand from 26 to 30 players. The 40-man will expand to include 20 non-active players.
- Divisions: The American and National Leagues will stay the same. However, a team’s schedule will be within their own division as well as the opposing league’s geographical division (i.e., the AL Central will play against the NL Central).
- Timeline: Spring training could start in June with Opening day within the first few days of July, as late as Independence Day.
- Stadiums: Teams will be pushed to play at their home stadiums/fields for both spring training and also the regular season. If teams are not able to play in their home stadiums, even in front of no fans, they could share a nearby major-league stadium with another team.
Joel Sherman of the MLB Network has tweeted that the union has already noted a couple of sticking points. The players are wanting to be comfortable with traveling, working out, playing games, etc., which is definitely understandable. A “non-starter” to the proposal, according to Sherman and his sources, is the revenue-sharing plan. It was originally agreed upon that the players would be a pro-rated amount.
If this proposal does go through, it seems that there could be some definite changes to a couple of the above points before anything is set in stone. However, it looks like owners, players, and the league are looking to get some semblance of a baseball season underway in the short-term.