Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball players association have been working together for over a week now trying to iron out all kinds of things. They’ve gotten some things done – like setting up funds for team personnel who are going to no longer have work with the season being delayed, how players at the big league level were going to be paid during the spring training suspension/cancellation – but there’s a lot more on the table.
A lot of that stuff revolves around different ideas of how many games can be played if the season were to begin on “X” date, and how that would work out. Jeff Passan and Kiley McDaniel at ESPN are reporting several things could be on the table.
One of the things that it appears both sides are in agreement on is that the regular season could stretch into October, and if needed – playoff games could be played at neutral sites that are either in warm-weather cities or domed-stadium cities. That would certainly be a real interesting scenario where there’s no true home field advantage for a team.
Both sides also seem to want to play as many games as possible. In the end, that’s going to mean more money for both sides. The two sides, however, haven’t come up with a plan for how much the players will be paid once the season does begin. That, along with how service time will work in a shortened season, are going to be large points in negotiations.
When it comes to playing as many games as possible, one idea that’s been floated is adding scheduled double headers to schedules. According to the article linked above, several players they spoke to were on board for that plan. Small sample size, of course, but there’s at least some players out there who are on board for that one.
But if there’s going to be a double header or two played a week, there would probably need to be concessions on expanded rosters. Just how far that would be, I’m not sure. But you would think that it would need to be at least 28-30 players, right? You’re going to need a lot of starting pitchers if you’re going to play that kind of schedule. And your bench players are probably going to get a little bit of additional time, too – simply because your every day guys can’t play 8-9 games per week over the course of even 3 months.
Everything is in limbo right now, and as noted in the article – a lot of things are still in a “we’re going to have to wait and see” mode, because they depend on when the games could start. But it seems both sides are willing to do a lot of things that didn’t seem possible just a week ago as perhaps we’ve all come to realize this is going to probably last far longer than we initially believed.