San Diego Padres, Austin Hedges
Sep 10, 2019; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres catcher Austin Hedges (18) celebrates after scoring on a fielder's choice and a throwing error during the second inning against the Chicago Cubs at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

A week after Major League Baseball proposed a plan to start the 2020 season, team owners and players continue to negotiate a solution to help bring baseball back. While plenty of marquee names have come out against the deal, there now seems to be some hope for baseball fans.

San Diego Padres catcher Austin Hedges expressed confidence to The San Diego Union-Tribune that negotiations between the players’ union and MLB owners are going well and that there will be an MLB season.

“Over the last 48 hours, it really feels like we’re getting some stuff done,” Hedges said, via The San Diego Union-Tribune. “I really do believe we’re to a point where a decision will be made… I feel very confident it’s going to happen.”

Hedges serves as the Padres’ representative for the MLB Players Association and took part in a conference call on Monday with reps from other teams. During the call, they talked about MLB’s proposal to bring baseball back in July with an 82-game season and what the players would need to agree to a deal.

“It sounds like we’re finally coming up with something, at least making a decision,” Hedges said, via The San Diego Union-Tribune. “Instead of, ‘What if we do this?’, it’s, ‘Let’s do this.'”

Players have objected to a requirement from MLB owners to take further pay cuts. The players’ union already made an agreement with MLB to receive pro-rated salaries┬áin a shortened season. Owners have pushed back, suggesting they would lose money under the previous agreement.

There are also concerns regarding MLB’s safety protocols. The league will need tens of thousands of COVID-19 testing kits and some players are questioning if MLB is doing enough given the risks players will take on.

It’s great news that the players’ union seems to be making progress on a way to bring baseball back. If owners are willing to go along with it and both sides can meet in the middle, MLB would be one major step towards a return. From there, players could start preparing for the season and things could get rolling in July.