Per Enrique Rojas, the players are going to vote on the current proposal from MLB today. If the players approve, we will have a 60 game MLB schedule starting in mid-July, with expanded playoffs for 2020 and 2021, universal DH, and players receiving pro-rated salaries for the 2020 season, with both sides waiving their right to pursue a grievance. If the players don’t approve, then owners will unilaterally implement a schedule, expected to be either 48 or 52 games.
The expectation had been that the 60 game schedule would be rejected by the players, but with the current spate of positive COVID-19 tests among players and staffers, together with an increase in cases in places like Arizona, Texas and Florida, it may be that players feel like this is the best they are going to do as far as a number of games played, and they’d rather lock in a plan now than continue to be in limbo.
One of sticking points has been concessions the players have made on expanded playoffs for 2021 as part of the deal for full pro-ration in 2020, which would theoretically be in place even if the season ended up being shortened this year due to the pandemic. Rob Manfred reportedly reached out to players yesterday and informed them that the owners would “eliminate the 2021 components of the deal” if the 2020 season were shortened beyond the agreed upon 60 games.
The 2021 components are expanded playoffs and universal DH, though while expanded playoffs benefit owners (because playoff media rights are such a large part of revenue streams), the universal DH is something players have been pushing for for some time, and is a benefit to the players moreso than the owners (albeit not to the same extent expanded playoffs are to the owners).
So we will hopefully know more later today and the plans for the 2020 season, although the recent COVID-19 reports highlight the fact that actually playing the season and keeping the players healthy is going to be a bigger challenge that I think we (or at least some of us) have acknowledged.