MLB Reportedly Close to Submitting Plan for 2020 Season to MLBPA

Tim Kelly
May 06, 2020 - 10:08 pm

It appears that over the next week or two, we'll have a better idea of whether there will be a 2020 MLB season or not.

According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, the expectation is that MLB will send a proposal on how a 2020 season would take shape to the player's association "within a week."

Passan adds that while there is a belief from some that part two of spring training could begin in early-to-mid-June and set baseball up for opening day in early July, nothing appears to be concrete. One would think that the MLBPA may prefer a little more time to build up before the regular season starts so that players are properly prepared for the rigors of an MLB season.

As far as where teams would play, Passan reports that "there is momentum" on a plan that would have teams play in their home stadiums, rather than convening in one or two states. RADIO.COM MLB Insider Bob Nightengale, writing for USA Today, said last week that MLB was weighing a proposal that would involve teams playing at their typical home stadiums in realigned divisions. It's unclear if MLB plans to move forward with a plan that would include any sort of temporary realignment.

While the league may be more likely to get players to agree to a plan that doesn't involve quarantining away from their families, it's unknown if the medical community or state legislators are as keen about such a proposal. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, previously outlined a scenario for there to be a 2020 season that involved players being quarantined and even surveilled. He's since suggested that it may be wiser to cancel sporting seasons than to come back if conditions aren't safe for team employees.

Citizens Bank Park
Will Citizens Bank Park host MLB games in 2020? Photo credit (Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

In some areas, it may work to have teams play in their home stadiums. For teams that play in New York, California, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania, Illinois or Texas - the seven states that the CDC says have over 25,000 cases of Coronavirus - it may make less sense for them to play in home stadiums.

Mike Trout, Clayton Kershaw and Zack Wheeler are among those that publicly voiced their concerns about any proposal that would force them to leave their families for an indefinite period of team and be quarantined. There still figures to be quite a bit of uncertainty among players even if being quarantined isn't part of a plan.

Passan says that behind the scenes, players have asked questions about what consequences they would face for sitting out the season out of fear of contracting the virus and what plan baseball has if they begin a season and players contract the virus.

It appears to be more of a matter of when than if that baseball works out some sort of an arrangement for their to be a 2020 season. Whether they're able to successfully see that proposal through to conclusion is less clear.

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