In the past 12 hours or so, ESPN, The Athletic, and Los Angeles Times have had developments on some of the logistics for the return of MLB and its 30 teams, including the Colorado Rockies.
Overnight, there were a few developments on some of the logistics of when baseball will return to Coors Field and the other 30 MLB stadiums. For the Colorado Rockies, it has some big implications.
Jeff Passan and Kiley McDaniel of ESPN published an article very early Wednesday morning on some of the things that may “come to a head in the next few days.” Some of the things that MLB has dealt with recently are:
- A deal with the MLBPA that would advance a portion of players’ salaries and cover a wide range of labor issues
- Receiving assurances from teams that non-player employees will receive paychecks through at least April, with cost-cutting measures a possibility come May
- Delivering long-term payments to minor leaguers since most of them haven’t had a paycheck since September
Both sides are hoping to return to play by “early June” but multiple officials pointed to a possible start in July, which would obviously further complicate matters around the All-Star Game that is supposed to be held at Dodger Stadium.
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If that were to happen, MLB would “guarantee players a prorated salary that would depend on the number of games played,” according to Passan and McDaniel’s sources.
They both report that multiple players have told ESPN that they would be willing to play doubleheaders as often as twice a week, in order to get in as many games as possible.
Passan also reports that the MLBPA and MLB both agree that regular games would stretch well into October and playoff games well into November in warm-weather cities, domed stadiums, and potentially neutral playing sites. The neutral-site issue may impact both the regular season and the postseason, depending on which metropolitan areas are most impacted (e.g. New York City and Seattle have been hit hardest of the 27 MLB cities).
Additionally, they report that players would “probably” receive their full-service time (more on that in a moment).
However, depending on rulings from government officials in the coming days and weeks, both sides are in that some games may have to be played without fans in attendance.
Some other things that may arise in the coming days and weeks are whether or not spring training will be shorter and, therefore, teams will be able to carry more players (particularly, pitchers) on their roster, especially in the event of as many as eight doubleheaders in a month.
There are also lingering questions on the draft system, the international spending period, and the arbitration system heading into next year. Perhaps most intriguing in the report is that teams may agree to a trade and free-agent signing embargo once play resumes.
The Athletic’s report
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic had a report late Tuesday night/early Wednesday as well. He reported that MLB and the MLBPA have “made progress” toward a deal that would resolve all of the service time questions.
This would be of note for the Rockies since, depending on how much service time would be given to players, it could hold players back a year from free agency. Nolan Arenado would have an opt-out after the 2022 season and Trevor Story would then be a free agent that offseason as well.
However, as noted by Passan’s reporting above, it looks like players will get their way and they will likely get their full-service time. That is under the assumption that the season will be played, though.
Rosenthal notes in his report that the two sides have agreed to “table discussions” of service time if a worst-case scenario happens (e.g. the season does not resume or less than half of the season is able to be played).
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The LA Times report
Mike DiGiovanna of The Los Angeles Times published an article early Wednesday morning with super-agent Scott Boras’ idea for the postseason.
He has submitted official proposals to Major League Baseball for a 162-game season that would begin June 1 and a 144-game season that would start July 1. In each proposal, the postseason would begin in the month of December.
Playoff games would be held in warm weather cities or in domed stadiums with no off-days. Game 6 of the World Series would take place on Christmas Day and Game 7 on December 26.
This proposal, obviously, is one that is … interesting. I’m not sure if the players would like that, particularly for the recovery time heading into the 2021 season but, hey, if they can get in as many games using one of those proposals, more power to them.
In the coming days and weeks, we will obviously learn more about the situation at hand and hopefully soon, we will see light at the end of the tunnel and that light will be the return to regular life.