By Joe Pantorno
Following the rejection by the union of their 60-game plan, Major League Baseball announced that the owners unanimously voted to proceed with the 2020 season based on the terms of their March 26 agreement that was headlined by full prorated salaries for the players.
Per multiple reports, the season plan that will be instituted by commissioner Rob Manfred will also be 60 games if the union agrees to have players report for spring training by July 1. The season would begin between July 24-26 and include the universal designated hitter — but just for 2020 — but no expanded postseason that would have seen the playoff pool increase from 10 teams to 16.
This comes just hours after the players rejected MLB’s 60-game proposal by a 33-5 vote that included the universal DH for two years, a guaranteed $25 million in playoff bonuses, and $33 million in forgiven salary advances.
“In view of this rejection, the MLB Clubs have unanimously voted to proceed with the 2020 season under the terms of the March 26 Agreement,” the league released in a statement. “IN order to produce a schedule with a specific number of games, we are asking that the Players Association provide to us by 5 p.m. (ET) tomorrow with two pieces of information. The first is whether players will be to report to camp with seven days (by July 1). The second is whether the Players Association will agree on the Opening Manual which contains the health and safety protocols necessary to give us the best opportunity to conduct and complete our regular and Postseason.”
A caveat of the implemented season is that the union will still have the option to file a grievance against MLB. However, there is a hope that the reported decision to play 60 games — a noticeable uptick from the perceived 48-to-54 games in an implemented season — could help ease tensions. Especially with Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations coming up in 2021.