JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The clock is officially ticking on baseball season.
On Monday, Major League Baseball owners agreed on a plan that would bring baseball back this summer. A virtual meeting was set for Tuesday afternoon where MLB presented its proposal to top officials from the Players Association concerning how to return the game to the field. If the MLB hopes to start the season in July like it presented, it will need to have an agreement in place sooner rather than later.
Some of the highlights from the owner’s proposal include:
• An expansion of playoff teams from 10 to 14.
• A shortened season of 82 games beginning in early July.
• A 30-man roster that would have upward of 50 players available.
• No fans for likely the majority — if not all — of the 2020 season.
• A 50-50 revenue split.
The revenue sharing is expected to be a sticking point moving forward. Arrangements like this are common in other major sports. NFL players get 48%, NHL players get 50% and NBA players get 49 to 51%.
It would be unprecedented in MLB, which has no salary cap like the other major sports do.
While the Major League Baseball Players Association has been silent about the proposal one politician is already weighing in. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzerker said during his daily COVID-19 press conference that he wasn’t happy to see players publicly voicing displeasure with the proposal.
“Must say, I’m disappointed in many ways that players are holding out for these very, very high salaries and payments during a time when I think everybody is sacrificing,” he said.
At least one notable player is skeptical about Major League Baseball's reported restart plans and his concerns have nothing to do with his salary. Washington Nationals relief pitcher Sean Doolittle spoke his mind in a Twitter thread saying "it feels like the conversation about an MLB restart has shifted to the economic issues and that's really frustrating."
Some people telling me to stay home if I don't want to play. We're asking these questions BECAUSE we want to play. We want to restart the season again. We also want everyone it would require to resume a baseball season to be as safe as possible. https://t.co/bvUPVspYjZ— Obi-Sean Kenobi Doolittle (@whatwouldDOOdo) May 12, 2020
As for minor league baseball teams like the Jumbo Shrimp, this plan puts them in a strange position. With MLB supporting a plan that could overhaul the whole farm system as we know it.
The MILB has not commented publicly about the status of its 2020 season.