According to a report, MLB submitted a proposal to the MLBPA, asking for a slightly shortened 2021 season with a month delay. The proposal calls for a 154-game schedule with an early May start while ending the regular-season a week later. Accepting the proposal would likely call for a condensed schedule with several seven-inning doubleheaders.
However, MLB’s proposal included full pay for players, meaning there wouldn’t be pro-rated salaries dependent on how many games are played. That’d be the major selling point for players, but the condensed schedule is likely the players’ main issue. Additionally, the proposal reportedly includes expanded playoffs for a second consecutive season.
MLB’s proposal comes after Cactus League officials in Arizona asked MLB to delay Spring Training due to high COVID-19 numbers in the Phoenix area. However, MLB players want to begin the season on time, and clubs are preparing to do the same.
Players believe that they can adapt the same safety protocols from last season to have another successful season during the pandemic. With the protocols in place, a full 60-game season was completed in 2020 with just minor hiccups.
As the currently scheduled start of Spring Training inches closer, players have slowly trickled to team sites to begin training. Multiple New York Yankees players are reportedly working out at the organization’s Tampa facility, and teams are already selling tickets for the season.
Although the Cactus League requested that MLB delay Spring Training, Major League Baseball cannot do so without the Players Association’s approval. Players want to begin the season on time, however, they are considering the proposal.