Report: MLB gave players two options for 2020 season

It appears negotiations between MLB and the MLB Players Association to begin the 2020 season that hasn’t yet begun because of the coronavirus pandemic won’t get much friendlier between the two parties anytime soon.

On Tuesday afternoon, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman tweeted that owners have presented two new proposals to the players, and logic suggests the union won’t happily embrace either.

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By Zac Wassink | Last updated 5/19/20

MLB owners reportedly approve plan to start season on July 4

MLB owners passed a proposal to the players’ union that could have the 2020 season starting around Fourth of July weekend, according to the Associated Press.

Of course, no fans would be allowed in the stadiums if this were to pass, and the players’ union would have to agree to the proposed plan. According to the Associated Press, round two of spring training would begin in mid-June to give the players the opportunity to get in baseball shape ahead of the season.

Each team would play around 82 regular-season games against opponents in its own division, plus interleague matchups limited to divisions as well. For example, the American League East teams would face National League East teams in interleague play. This would limit the need to travel over longer distances and help with player safety.

In terms of the postseason, it would be an expanded playoffs including 14 teams instead of 10, doubling the wild-card matchups.

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By Erin Walsh | Last updated 5/11/20

MLB set to propose approximately 80-game season beginning in July?

Major League Baseball is set to present a preliminary plan to play a 2020 season to owners on Monday, and if they approve, players will learn details Tuesday.

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the league plans to propose a regular season of roughly 80 games that would begin in early July. The schedule would be regionalized, with teams from each division playing their division rivals as well as their counterparts in the same division from the other league.

The league would use as many home stadiums as possible, with those teams unable to play at home relocating to spring training sites or other MLB stadiums. The playoffs would be expanded to seven teams per league.

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Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports | By Grey Papke | Last updated 5/9/20

Star agent Scott Boras blasts MLB for cutting down 2020 draft

As MLB continues to look for ways to grow the game and attract more fans to watch and play baseball, the league’s decision to shorten the 2020 MLB Draft might just do the opposite.

Superstar agent Scott Boras, who helped his top free-agent clients land more than $1 billion in contracts this offseason, is coming after MLB following the league’s decision to shorten the 2020 MLB Amateur Draft from 40 to five rounds.

MLB made the decision as part of a cost-saving measure for team owners amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the one-year policy, the draft will be just five rounds this year with organizations allowed to sign an unlimited number of players for no more than $20,000.

The one-year policy will reduce the number of players drafted from 1,200 to 150 this year with bonuses significantly limited. As part of an agreement MLB reached with players, teams can defer a majority of the payments to top picks into future years, and the new rules will save each club millions this season.

“We probably should have bought a billboard that said, ‘Go play other sports after Little League,” Scott Boras said, via The Athletic. “Goodbye.’”

Team owners have been pushing for years to cut down the size of the MLB Amateur Draft significantly, and they are currently working to reduce the size of MiLB. By shortening this year’s draft, a move that likely sets a precedent for future years, owners are getting what they hoped for.

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Originally posted on Sportsnaut | By Matt Johnson | Last updated 5/9/20

MLB teams telling players to get in shape, prepare for the season

Major League Baseball is expected to send a proposal for the 2020 season to start to players some time in the next week.

According to multiple media reports, the plan is for a second round of Spring Training to get going in mid June with a target date of July 1 for the start of the regular season. Whether these plans are realistic remains to be seen amid the current reality of the COVID-19 pandemic remains to be seen.

What we do know is that teams are now telling players to get back into shape and prepare for the start of the season.

“General managers and managers from at least a dozen teams have reached out to players and suggested they ramp up baseball activities, executives, players and agents familiar with the conversations told ESPN. Some teams have suggested players prepare for a spring training that would begin as early as June 10 and a season that would begin July 1,” ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported on Wednesday.

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Originally posted on Sportsnaut | By Vincent Frank | Last updated 5/6/20

Former A’s pitcher Matt Keough dies at 64

Former MLB pitcher Matt Keough has died, the Oakland A’s announced on Saturday.

Keough spent the better part of his career with the A’s from 1977 to 1983. He posted a record of 58-84 with a 4.17 ERA. He made the All-Star team as a rookie in 1978 and was the American League Comeback Player of the Year in 1980.

Executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane said in a statement, according to ESPN:

“Matt was a great baseball man and a proud Oakland A. He had an incredible passion for the game and we were lucky to have him and his wealth of knowledge alongside us for the years he worked as a special assistant.”

Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports By Steve DelVecchio | Last updated 5/3/20

Red Sox eyeing ‘new and different concepts’ for uniforms

The Boston Red Sox have one of the most well-known looks in all of baseball, but that doesn’t mean they’re immune to potential changes.

Red Sox president Sam Kennedy suggested recently that the team is looking at possible concept changes for its classic uniforms, although he added that the club is “respectful” of its traditional look, via Chad Jennings of The Athletic:

“We are looking at changes as we go forward. (The changes will be) likely geared to get us to a uniform that is geared towards high performance. We will always be respectful of our incredible traditional look and feel, but we are always open to new and different concepts as time goes by.”

Fear not, traditionalists. It sounds as if the Red Sox are more focused on changing the fit than the aesthetics, as executive vice president of partnerships Troup Parkinson indicated:

“I think our folks on the ownership side are really more focused on fit. They think that, for example, Nike can bring tons of technology to the fit and hopefully help the performance of the athlete, which has happened in basketball and in football, but, amazingly, in baseball it hasn’t. The (players), if you talk to them, they will say the uniform doesn’t fit.”

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Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports | By Grey Papke | Last updated 5/3/20

MLB Draft to start June 10, to be held virtually

The recently-concluded 2020 NFL Draft was a smashing success. Commissioner Roger Goodell and the league did well to iron out all the wrinkles with the draft being held completely virtually during the age of COVID-19.

It looks like other sports are going to follow suit. Originally slated to start in Omaha on June 10, the 2020 MLB Draft will still go on as planned. Though, it will also be an all-virtual format.

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Originally posted on Sportsnaut | By Vincent Frank | Last updated 4/28/20

Report: MLB planning 100-game schedule with three 10-team divisions

On Monday, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that individuals throughout Major League Baseball have grown optimistic some sort of big league season will occur in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

A day later, Bob Nightengale of USA Today added information on what a unique MLB campaign may look like later this year. 

According to Nightengale, three executives informed him MLB is preparing for a season with at least 100 games that would begin between late June and July 2. Teams would play in their home ballparks, but fans would not be allowed to attend games. This would enable players to avoid quarantining from their families for several months, something stars such as Los Angeles Angels slugger Mike Trout and Los Angeles Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw spoke out against earlier this month. 

As part of the plan, the league would feature three 10-team divisions aligned by geographical locations that would join clubs from both the National and American Leagues. Teams would only play intradivisional games during the season. 

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By Zac Wassink | Last updated 4/28/20

MLB, union at odds over player salaries for potentially shortened season?

Major League Baseball has a long way to go before it can return in 2020, and there are clear issues that need to be sorted before it can.

Player salaries appear to be one developing issue. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, there is increasing tension between the MLB and MLBPA over whether players should have salaries reduced due to the significant loss of revenue the league is currently experiencing.

“Right now, there’s a major disagreement between Major League Baseball and the Players Association over what the financial split of the pie would be, if in fact baseball comes back,” Olney said, via Katherine Acquavella of CBS Sports. “This is an increasing concern both to management officials and to agents I’ve spoke with. Agent Scott Boras has argued that the 2020 contracts should be honored.

“On the management side, they feel like given the financial hit that baseball has taken, there needs to be some salary rollbacks. There is some increasing optimism that baseball will be played this year in some form, perhaps in front of fans. However, that can’t happen unless these two sides come out of their trenches where they are right now.”

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Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports | By Grey Papke | Last updated 4/26/20