The start of the 2020 Major League Baseball season might only be a month away. After the MLB Players Association rejected an offer of a 60-game season with expanded playoffs on Monday, the MLB announced owners had unanimously voted to go ahead with a shortened season under the terms of a March 26 agreement with players, per CNN. The league said it was waiting to hear whether players could report to spring training by July 1 and agree to certain health and safety protocols, with a deadline of 5pm Tuesday. If all goes well, a 60-game season is likely to follow, with a starting date of July 24. The March agreement laid out the conditions for proportional salaries. If the full 60 games are completed, players will receive 37% of their full-season salary, per ESPN.
After months of negotiations, Mike Axisa sees winners on both sides. The owners got a short season to cut costs, while players retained the right to file a grievance arguing the MLB didn't schedule as many games as it could have (the MLBPA suggested 114 games at one point), meaning they could win damages, he writes at CBS Sports. But "speaking as a baseball fan, these last three months have been awful," Axisa writes. "What started as a necessary pandemic shutdown morphed into a full-blown labor war. MLB and the MLBPA very publicly bickered about money … at a time when millions are losing their jobs." At Sports Illustrated, Tom Verducci adds a return to play might not be enough to "absolve the two sides of their bickering … The atmosphere is that toxic." (Here's what the season might look like.)