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Report: MLB proposes plan for 72-game season

Matt Johnson
MLB News
Jun 20, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Baseballs in a bin during batting practice between the Philadelphia Phillies and the St. Louis Cardinals at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Baseball submitted a new proposal to the MLB Players Association for a 72-game regular season that could deliver baseball to fans by July 14.

MLB submits plan for a 72-game regular season

After rejecting a proposal from the MLBPA for an 89-game season earlier this week, the second offer from the players’ union, MLB reportedly submitted its counterproposal on Friday. Under the plan, players would receive 70% of their prorates 2020 salaries.

The MLBPA has pushed for players to receive the full portion of their prorated salaries this year based on the number of games played. Under this submission from owners, per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, players could receive up to 83% of their prorated pay if the postseason is completed.

MLB included an expanded playoff field in the proposal, a move that the players union had also offered in its recent proposal. Under the expanded format, which would be in effect for the next two seasons, the postseason could expand to eight teams from each league.

If the players agreed to the deal, per The Athletic, MLB could suspend draft-pick compensation for the upcoming offseason. Such a move would eliminate teams needing to give up a draft pick in the 2021 MLB Draft for signing a player who rejected a qualifying offer.

Additionally, the league is offering to allow any players to opt-out of the 2020 season for their safety. Any high-risk players would be paid and given full service time this year. MLB is giving the players union until Sunday night to agree to the offer.

Players likely to reject MLB’s latest proposal

While the offer is a slight improvement from MLB’s last submission, reactions from the players is already showing the direction this is headed.

MLB’s plan creates an additional $71 million in potential compensation for players, per The Athletic’s Evan Drellich. However, players have held firm against taking anything below their fully prorated salaries and this latest proposal follows the same outline of asking players to take more risk.

As the reactions have shown, including retweets from stars like St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty, this standing offer will almost certainly be rejected.

MLB and the MLBPA agreed in March on a plan for a reshaped 2020 season. Under the pact, players would receive a prorated portion of their salary based on the amount of games played. As detailed by Yahoo Sports’ Mike Oz, the gap between the two sides is still significant.

MLB likely anticipates its offer being rejected. At that point, commissioner Rob Manfred could implement his plan for a shortened season. Once that domino falls, multiple players reportedly plan to sit out this year.