MLBPA expected to reject league proposal to delay season startFebruary 1, 2021
The Major League Baseball Players’ Association is expected to reject the league’s proposal to push opening day back by a month, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.
Nightengale cites a pair of anonymous sources, who are said to have knowledge of discussions between the MLBPA’s executive board and player representatives.
Earlier on Saturday, the league proposed pushing opening day back to April 28, cutting regular season games down from 162 to 154 and keeping last season’s 14-team playoff allotment (expanded from the traditional 10-team playoff).
Additional components of MLB’s proposal include the National League using a designated hitter and doubleheaders being shortened to seven innings, both of which were measures taken on an experimental basis during the 2020 season.
The MLBPA has “steadfastly rejected” a sustained expansion of the playoff format, Nightengale wrote, due to a belief that it will disincentivize teams from spending (in essence, more playoff teams means less reason to spend in a way to separate one’s team from the pack).
It’s possible that expanded playoffs, a universal DH and other things could still be agreed upon between the league and the players’ union. But an important thing to know, as ESPN’s Jeff Passan points out, is that a deal does not have to be reached on these matters.
The current collective bargaining agreement is active until Dec. 1. If the players and owners do not agree on any of the owners’ proposed changes, the 2021 MLB season will go forward with an April 1 start date, Passan reports.