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Highlights and Hangups of MLB Owners’ Proposal for 2020 Season

PORT CHARLOTTE, FLORIDA - MARCH 11: Manuel Margot #13 and Yoshitomo Tsutsugo #25 of the Tampa Bay Rays meet with Austin Meadows #17 in the outfield during a pitcher change in the second inning of a Grapefruit League spring training game against the Boston Red Sox at Charlotte Sports Park on March 11, 2020 in Port Charlotte, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
PORT CHARLOTTE, FLORIDA - MARCH 11: Manuel Margot #13 and Yoshitomo Tsutsugo #25 of the Tampa Bay Rays meet with Austin Meadows #17 in the outfield during a pitcher change in the second inning of a Grapefruit League spring training game against the Boston Red Sox at Charlotte Sports Park on March 11, 2020 in Port Charlotte, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
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MLB owners approved a proposal Monday to start Major League Baseball’s 2020 season in early July. The commissioner’s office will present the proposal to the players today.

Tampa Bay Rays fans, don’t get too excited. There are some big hurdles that need to be cleared. Here is a look at the highlights of the proposal and the hurdles.

Jon Heyman reported that the proposal calls for an 82-game regular season.

Joel Sherman says the plan is still to have the playoffs on time and at home ballparks.

Highlights

  • 82 games beginning around the Fourth of July weekend.
  • 50/50 Revenue Split
  • Standard division alignments
  • Interleague matchups would be regionalized
  • The All-Star game likely called off
  • Active rosters expanded to 30
  • Universal DH
  • The postseason would be expanded from 10 to 14 teams.

Notes

Division Alignments – The AL East would play within its own division and against the NL East. The same goes for each division in the league. This would limit travel during the 2020 season.

For the Tampa Bay Rays this means one incredibly difficult schedule.

NL-AL East (no particular order)

  • Tampa Bay Rays
  • Atlanta Braves
  • Washington Nationals
  • New York Yankees
  • Philadelphia Phillies
  • New York Mets
  • Boston Red Sox
  • Toronto Blue Jays
  • Miami Marlins
  • Baltimore Orioles

That could be fun.

Postseason Expansion – Nearly half the league would make the postseason as there would be four wild cards in each league. Four wild cards in an 82-game schedule would be frantic. Every game would carry so much weight for teams vying for those wild card berths.

Universal DH – Could be the spark that ignites the fire for the National League.

The Hangup

The big hangup with this proposal is the revenue split. Players don’t want the split. They view it as a salary cap.

David Sampson, former president of the Marlins and Expos and current analyst for CBS Sports, told the Associated Press:

"“A salary cap has been a non-starter for the players as long as I’ve been in baseball, I think when MLB is proposing a revenue split, it is with the full knowledge that the players’ union will automatically reject that.”"

Other sentiments have been echoed from players and representatives of the union.

From the owner’s perspective, about 40% of their revenue comes from the gate. We are looking at a scenario in which teams will likely be playing in empty or at least partially empty stadiums. Attendance may end up somewhere around 25 percent of 2019’s numbers but if the players get paid per game then payroll would still be around 50 percent.

Next. Rays constructed to conquer a condensed schedule. dark

This could be an issue. Stay tuned. The plan they have laid out sounds like a lot of fun. While I don’t expect a press conference announcing the beginning of the season today, it’s a start. What do you think of this proposal? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page!

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