Baseball fans may soon have some answers as to when and how the 2020 season may begin. The league is reportedly gearing up to submit a proposal plan to the players union ironing out the details of the delayed season.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported Wednesday that officials would present the MLB Players Association with the plan “in the coming days,” which would provide a clearer timeframe for when games might be staged. Reports have surfaced that June 10 would be the league’s target date to commence training, with the season formally kicking off on July 1. However, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman said that would be an optimistic timeframe and deemed it was unlikely to actually play out.
“We’re used to starting our season at a particular time and used to being busy during a six-month period that is our regular season, and then having an offseason in preparation for the next year. All of that is in question,” MLB union executive director Tony Clark told ESPN this week. “Even as you provide information and updates and engage players, you still don’t know yet a definitive date on the calendar when things might return to some level of normalcy. You continue to work through it as best you can while remaining available to answer as many questions as you can, even if there aren’t answers to them all.”
Clark confirmed that while the union had not yet received any official proposal from the league, he had heard of the various contingency plans reportedly in discussions. MLB officials had been in talks over housing the season in hub locations like Arizona and Florida, but the latest idea in motion is said to feature teams playing in their own ballparks.
Regardless of what the league proposes when it comes to games, player salary is expected to be brought up. Players have already accepted a prorated salary based on the condensed number of games played, but further pay reductions may be in the cards to account for the revenue losses at hand this season. Nonetheless, players are eager to get back on the field.
“We want to play. As players, we want to play,” Clark said. “As these ideas find their way into mainstream media, there are some ideas that seem to make sense, there are others that don’t track very well. All of them are being viewed against the backdrop of getting back on the field and affording our guys an opportunity to do what they love to do.”