Team representatives are holding a virtual meeting with MLB Players’ Union officials to propose a shortened season with radical changes to the way games are played to restart the sport in the wake of the coronavirus, according to The New York Times. The current proposal has some difficult hurdles to overcome, perhaps the biggest being how players will be paid.
Team owners are proposing to hold a truncated 82-game season. Games will be played in team stadiums without fans, unless local rules prevent teams from using their home arenas, in which case teams will be allowed to move games to their practice and spring training facilities, instead. Travel will be limited and teams will play within their geographic area.
Some rules will be changed, such as the National League’s prohibition against a designated hitter, to create a more uniform system of play since teams will largely be playing within their own divisions. Before every game, players and staff will be tested for the coronavirus, and team rosters will be expanded to 50 players with about 30 players active for each game.
If the union agrees to those changes and others, the MLB must still convince the union representatives to sign on to pay structure that they have criticized as an attempt at installing a salary cap, according to The Athletic. The players’ union has advocated against a salary cap system, such as what is used in the NFL, for years.