MLB offer rejected, 2021 expected to start on time

New York Yankees
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MLB announced on Monday that the MLBPA officially rejected the offer of a delayed 154-game season and that the league will go forward with an April 1 Opening Day.

With COVID-19 cases rising in most parts of the country, MLB proposed a season shortened by eight games with a start date of April 28. The season would’ve ended early October with a universal DH and expanded playoffs implemented. However, players are worried about injuries in a condensed season and believed general injury risk is greater than COVID-19’s risk.

“In light of the MLBPA’s rejection of our proposal, and their refusal to counter our revised offer this afternoon, we are moving forward and instructing our Clubs to report for an on-time start to Spring Training and the season, subject to reaching an agreement on health and safety protocols,” said the league.

Spring Training will formally commence on February 17, but many players have already arrived at training facilities. The MLBPA will continue to work with MLB on finalizing health protocols in the coming days.

“Players know first-hand the efforts that were required to complete the abbreviated 2020 season, and we appreciate that significant challenges lie ahead. We look forward to promptly finalizing enhanced health and safety protocols that will help Players and Clubs meet these challenges,” the union said in a statement late Monday.

One surprising thing about the MLBPA’s rejection of MLB’s proposal is that they didn’t submit a counter-proposal asking for expanded playoffs or a universal DH. While only some liked expanded playoffs, a universal DH was widely praised across the league last season. However, reports say that the two could still be discussed before the start of Spring Training.

Now, there’s just one thing to do: Play Ball!