Report: Latest MLB Plan May Include Regional Play, Half Schedule
Major League Baseball suspended operations on March 12, as did much of the world. Since that day, we have heard an all-Arizona proposal for baseball to return. Then we heard a proposal for a Florida and Arizona plan, followed by one with Texas. But yet another proposal came to light on Saturday: teams playing their own division and opposite division in 2020.
Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic reported on Saturday evening that Major League Baseball officials will meet on Monday to discuss a new potential plan, which is different than all of the other rumored options.
According to Rosenthal, the 2020 season would include the following:
- A season about half of the normal games, somewhere between 78-82 regular season games
- Teams would play their division as well as the opposite division (such as the NL East and AL East playing one another)
- Playoffs would include seven teams from each league
- Expanded rosters as many as 45 or 50 players
But there will be challenges to make this work.
According to Rosenthal, some of the remaining issues include:
- Travel. The Toronto Blue Jays, for example, might have to play elsewhere due to travel between the United States and Canada being restricted
- Safety. Should a heavily-populated city such as New York be too risky, teams could play either at Spring Training sites or elsewhere
- Compensation. Players agreed to take salaries equal to a pro-rated levels, but that was before the idea of playing in front of empty stadiums became a thought
When Spring Training was suspended, the Phillies left their lockers intact, minus a bat or glove they might have wished to work out with during the suspension of play. Other reports have called for a "Spring Training 2" before play resumes. But can MLB and the MLB Players Association work out the compensation issue? That might be the toughest issue.