Despite Uncertainty of Season, MLB & MLBPA Resolve Critical Roadblocks


While there’s still a lot of uncertainty surrounding many details of a prospective baseball season this year, both the MLB and MLBPA were hard at work this week trying to iron out any potential hurdles, specifically when it came to salaries, service time, and the 2020 amateur draft.

An agreement resolving the major issues was reached Thursday, which would have coincidentally been the original Opening Day to the 2020 season.

Jeff Passan of ESPN was among the first to report some of the agreement’s details, noting that owners and players both want to play as many games as possible, with a potential return to training camps happening in mid-May. With an optimistic eye, regular-season games could begin as early as June—even if they play in front of no fans.

These thoughts certainly give hope to fans that the powers that be will do everything possible to orchestrate some kind of season. However, with regards to fans of the Dodgers, speculation about the 2020 All-Star Game in Los Angeles is still very much up in the air.

Another notable outcome of the meetings was that Mookie Betts—among others—will indeed become a free agent at the end of the year, regardless of a season is completed or not. In theory, this means that the superstar outfielder conceivably could not play a regular-season game for the Dodgers.

Perhaps the most significant part of the agreement is that all players who are active or on the injured list for the entirety of a shortened 2020 season will receive a full year of service time. Until the exact details behind a 2020 schedule are revealed, players will receive a pro-rated portion of their salaries over the next two months.

As of Friday, there was a freeze placed on all MLB roster transactions.

According to Passan, Commissioner Rob Manfred has the discretion to shorten the 2020 draft to as few as five rounds this summer. As it stands, it is anticipated it will take place some time in July as opposed to the original June 10-12 time slot.

Moreover, Manfred could consider delaying the 2020 international signing period, which was initially scheduled to run from July 2, 2020, through June 15, 2021, to at the latest Jan. 1, 2021 through Dec. 15, 2021.

Mark Feinsand of stated that the MLB is considering the idea of holding a combine—similar to what the National Football League uses—to evaluate amateur players in both 2020 and 2021 if the league determines it logical.

Feinsand also noted that drafted players will receive no more than $100,000 of their signing bonuses up front, receiving 50 percent of the remainder by July 1, 2021 and the other 50 percent by July 1, 2022. Undrafted players will be able to receive no more than $20,000 as a signing bonus.

The office of the commissioner will compose a regular-season schedule for the 2020 season at the appropriate time, at which point the players’ union will have input before it is finalized.

The playoff format for 2020 may also be modified, including the prospect of some games being played at neutral sites.


37 thoughts on “Despite Uncertainty of Season, MLB & MLBPA Resolve Critical Roadblocks

  1. The worse part of this is that if the season does not play, they lose Betts without him ever playing a game. Of course they can enter the sign Mookie sweepstakes, but there are no guarantees he would come to LA as a free agent.


    1. “with a potential return to training camps happening in mid-May. With an optimistic eye, regular-season games could begin as early as June—even if they play in front of no fans.“

      I don’t find that a very realistic scenario. Florida is about to become a hot mess and is it possible to bring the required number of people to play a game in “empty” stadiums without risk?

      They can have signing periods and drafts but the idea there will be games played this year feels to me an enormous social risk and apparent logistical impossibility. It’s so far not possible to predict when the “peak” will actually be hit with this thing. We are hearing anything from 3 weeks to a few months with multiple peaks being hit over 12 months. To squeeze in a Major League season, no matter how brief, with a post season to follow in this national and global emergency scenario seems not only unlikely but also a bit hubristic. Baseball? During a pandemic?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t find much need to comment these days because every time you post a comment Scoop you seem to mirror my thoughts exactly. Completely agree with everything you just said. I hope we’re both wrong, but I’m not counting on it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. All voices are needed Jefe. I value your opinion. I value all opinions. I certainly value and encourage the opportunity to voice them.

        Dennis and Andy have given this particular community something to think about and the opportunity to talk about it. I find this an opportunity, and for that I thank them. I hope everyone here will speak up.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Only time will tell. It does seem at this time that no one has a handle or any sort of idea how long this will last. From some reports. it has abated some in China, but has flared again in Italy, and now Louisiana is reporting a spike in cases. All we can do is do our part to not spread the disease.


    1. Thank you Bear. I appreciate that. Please note, however, that if I am a great contributor it is BECAUSE I’m a Shlemming. Some day maybe you’ll learn how to spell it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Bear, did you see any video coming out of China on HOW they dealt with this? South Korea had similar measures immediately in place. You couldn’t get on a bus without your temperature being measured. That was weeks ago. We aren’t remotely close to doing things like that. Also, there are reports of additional waves of outbreak being reported everywhere. We are still on the initial wave, it’s larger than anywhere else on the planet and we don’t even have respirator masks for front line medical personnel. That is just inexcusable.

        I’m no longer listening to anything the administration says. I mute them until the scientists start talking. I’m also reading updates from sources I find more accurate. What I’ve been trying to tell you for weeks now has not resonated with you. You were listening to different sources. It’s unfolding exactly like experts in the field of epidemiology said it would. The experts in bullshit keep on lying. Follow their advice at your own risk. Happy Easter to all those planning to attend services.

        We need to be smart about this and weather the storm. This is going to be with us awhile.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. How come you use the English word for “it” but the German word for “Shlemming”. I want to see a little consistency out of you Bear. And by the way, the German word for “it” is “es”.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You asked me if I knew how to spell it. SO I spelled IT for you…you did not ask me how to spell IT in German…..


  2. I read a lot Scoop. I also do not believe all I read. I have not seen video’s since the Chinese are not really forthcoming with that sort of thing. As for the government, I believe nothing that comes from a single politico’s mouth. That means all of them. Resonate? I am not following anyone’s advice but my own. I am doing what the building I live in has instructed and sticking to the rules. I have had minimal contact with anyone, and have left this apt twice in the last 3 weeks. Once to take a friend to his dental appt, and once to help a friend pick up her meds, and get a couple of things from the market. Other than that, zip. I have not even seen more than 3 of the residents here and the manager maybe twice. Our area as of right now has had zero cases. The bigger cities, have had a lot more. Maybe that will change, and maybe it will not. I do know that in a town this small, with as few options for entertainment or recreation as there are, the majority are following the Governor’s edicts. The main street is almost always empty any more. The market had a lot of people there, many wearing masks. Most had gloves or some sort of hand sanitizer with them. I do not really know what more we can do. If I lived in a big city again, it would be different probably. But I am not going to waste my time watching the Dr;s and the politicians argue. Life is too damn short as it is to listen to the blithering of those people. When some sort of vaccine is ready, i am sure all of the news outlets, few of whom I have any faith or trust in at all, will let us all know in a huge news flash. The only person I trust to do what is needed for me to do is Me. Been that way all my life. I have few family to fall back on. I am on my own and have been since I was 17.


    1. Congrats on the way you are adapting to this mess Bear. As far as I can tell, you are neither endangering yourself nor anyone else and that’s all anyone could ask. Just do me a favor and don’t count on going to Easter Services anywhere this year.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not religious my friend. If I walked into a church it would collapse. No, that is my foster sister’s thing. She is very religious. First celebrity casualty of the virus today though, at least that I have seen. Country Music star Joe Diffie died today at 61 from complications caused by Covid-19. RIP Joe.


    2. Pretty much over in china now. 40 or 50 new cases per day for the past week or 10 days. They locked down before we knew what it was all about ( actually pretty sure trump doesnt know yet). They just won’t let it spread and their numbers are amazing. We will probably double their numbers tomorrow. Unfortunately italy locked down very early and they have now passed china also. All we can do is what bear is doing and hope for the best. It’s not a especially serious virus unless you are one of us old guys.


      1. It’s extremely dangerous to anyone with diabetes (10% of our population) respiratory disorders, (at least 25 million people) heart disease (nearly half of US adults) and of course the elderly.

        Yeah, it’s true, most of us will get it and get over it. But make no mistake, the US population is overall not that healthy and millions are at risk.

        Like I said, China and S Korea tested everyone getting on public transportation and the video that was released from China showed people being sprayed down at their desks by men in HazMat suits and people forcibly being taken to quarantine. That won’t happen here.


  3. Very true scoop. I meant to say as well as people with underling medical conditions, especially respiratory conditions. 13/15000 new cases a day doesn’t bode well for the summer or baseball season. I’m already looking forward to 2021.


  4. Here’s my guess. After consistently downplaying the threat at the beginning and having that blow up in his face, Trump will now repeat the worst case scenario of a possible 2 million deaths at every press conference and once they come in a bit under that will claim a huge victory based on his spectacular handling of the entire situation.


    1. Sounds like him. Hopefully most will see through him by then.

      “Mayor Bill de Blasio

      We wish them a speedy recovery. But, with all due respect, an entire NBA team should NOT get tested for COVID-19 while there are critically ill patients waiting to be tested.

      Tests should not be for the wealthy, but for the sick.”

      Not surprising the wealthy are finding ways to be tested. We read every day some celebrity testing positive. This morning it’s the owner of the Knicks.


      1. “Hopefully most will see through him by then.”
        Dream on, my friend, dream on. His approval ratings are getting higher in the polls not lower.
        My personal feeling (and some may disagree) is that no person should be tested, no matter what profession or station in life, until any first responder who needs to be tested has one. Needless to say, if things had been done correctly we wouldn’t be having this conversation at this stage of the pandemic.


      2. Especially since he’s demanding to have his signature on the ones which are actually being sent through the mail.
        I have this strange feeling that some combination of events will lead to Cuomo’s being the Democratic nominee before this is all finished. That would be one hell of a campaign to watch.


      3. I know Trump supporters would dispute this but I think he’s one of the most insecure people walking this earth. That doesn’t mean, however, that he couldn’t be re-elected.


      4. A guy can dream.

        I too was thinking that about Cuomo. I don’t know a lot about him but he sounds like a straight talking guy. What a welcomed contrast that would be in the White House.


  5. Well the keep your distance and self isolate has been extended to April 30th. So no baseball until June at the earliest I would think. No concerts, movies, this really sucks. But I am enjoying the free MLB.TV for now. I love watching the old games because i do not have to watch the ones they lose! Country music star Joe Diffie died from Covid-19 yesterday, and John Prine is in the hospital in critical condition due to complications from the Virus. In lieu of the ACM awards being cancelled, country music stars are getting together from their homes and putting on a concert next Sunday on CBS. Should be an interesting show.


    1. I think we’re going to see a lot of interesting new “home based” programming for the next few months. I’m sure people at the networks are brainstorming to see what kind of live programming they can come up with that would include big name stars. I guess that wouldn’t only include the networks but also internet sites like YouTube, etc. This is a chance for those guys to be inventive and it would give families a reason to gather around the tv or computer in the evening. Like the good ol’ days with Uncle Miltie or Jackie Gleason or Ed Sullivan. (I realize you have to be a certain age to even know who those people are).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Uncle Miltie! wow, that is going deep into the way back machine. How about Sid Cesar and Imogene Coca? Funny you should mention Milt. On TCM right now they have It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. Both Berle and Cesar are in it, along with Spencer Tracy, Buddy Hackett, Ethel Merman, Mickey Rooney, Dick Shawn, Jonathan Winters, Phil Silvers, Edie Adams, Buster Keaton. Terry Thomas, Jerry Lewis, Jimmy Durante, Jim Backus, Dorothy Provine, Don Knotts, Eddie”Rochester” Anderson, Jack Benny, Peter Falk, Carl Reiner, William Demarest, Andy Devine, Zasu Pitts, Joe E Brown, Leo Gorcey, from the Bowery Boys, Mike Mazurki, Larry Fine, one of the Stooges, and Doodles Weaver. The scene where Winters totally destroys a brand new gas station is classic.


      2. You realize that no one under the age of 100 would know who any of those people are unless they googled them.
        Zasu Pitts, always thought that was a good name. Dick Shawn was a very funny guy as was, of course, Jonathan Winters.
        Welcome one and all to TBPC, a blog about the Dodgers and Zasu Pitts. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. My apologies. Could have sworn we all celebrated your 105th birthday here online a few weeks ago. Truth be told, I think I’m a year or two older than you are, so that would make me about 107.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I’ve been reading a lot, and trying movies on Amazon and Netflix. There is no shortage of things to watch, but man there are a lot of really bad movies out there.

        You guys are old. The last birthday I celebrated I was 55.


  6. Just posted this on the next article but for those who haven’t linked to that yet:
    Good news in the midst of all this horror. Apparently an agreement has been reached for AT& T and Direct TV to carry the games once the season starts again. And no, it’s not an April Fool’s joke.


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