Rob Manfred Implements 60-Game Season, Hands off Agreement to Players
Baseball is back! Well- kinda. The MLB announced Monday evening that they will be moving forward with the 2020 season after a tumultuous break due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This comes just hours after the MLBPA denied another deal that would establish a shortened 60-game season.
This new deal is actually not new at all. The terms stem from an agreement on March 26th. Under this new deal, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred was granted the power to decide on the season length, which much like today’s failed deal will contain 60 games. This was reported by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
While this new deal has not been approved yet by the MLBPA, the Players’ Association have until Tuesday at 4 p.m. (5 p.m. Eastern time) to confirm whether the players can be ready to report to training camp on July 1st. In addition, the MLBPA must agree to the safety protocols that have been given. If the players agree, they will be reporting with a week of July 5th.
In the March 26th agreement, Commissioner Manfred was allowed the right by both the owners and the MLBPA to impose the start of the season. While he has not exercised this right yet, he is now doing as a last resort.
Under this new plan for the season, there will not be a universal designated hitter or expanded playoffs. These were previous terms that were heavily argued by both sides.
While it seems on the surface that Commissioner Manfred and the MLB expect a season, this is being seen by many as an ultimatum of sorts. In almost a chess-like move, if the MLBPA deny what could be the last in a series negotiations, the cancellation of the 2020 baseball season could be blamed on the players.