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MLB return might hinge on the ability to “strike a financial deal”

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Money might be the end-all, be-all for a return to baseball in 2020.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at San Diego Padres Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN.com Jeff Passan reported on Tuesday that Major League Baseball owners have approved the proposal brought forth by commissioner Rob Manfred on a potential “return-to-play” scenario that “aims to have baseball back in home stadiums by early July.”

Manfred planned to present the proposal to players yesterday.

According to Passan, “Although MLB could benefit long-term from being the first American team sport to return amid the coronavirus pandemic, the logistics of starting the season remain convoluted and require player support.”

Unsurprisingly, Passan’s sources say that money is “at the heart of the return.” MLB owners are supposedly against the idea of stadiums without fans and they’re also hoping to enact a 50-50 revenue split with the players.

That last part is likely not going to come to fruition since there is already an agreement in place from back in March that guarantees players a prorated portion of their salaries that all depended on the number of games played this season.

“The ability to strike a financial deal could mean the difference between a baseball season and one that is canceled,” said Passan.

Here are the other vital points included in Manfred’s proposal:

  • An expansion of playoff teams from 10 to 14
  • An 82-game season
  • The use of home stadiums in areas that have local and state government approval
  • A so-called spring training 2.0 that begins in June, with a season set for early July
  • A universal designated hitter
  • Geographical schedules, in which teams play only in-division opponents and interleague opponents in a similar area (i.e., American League Central teams play AL Central and National League Central teams)
  • A 30-man roster with a taxi squad that would have upward of 50 players available

Major league baseball is about to look quite different should it return in 2020. But in all honesty, is anyone really going to mind in the end?