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MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has offered to cancel the expanded playoffs and universal designated hitter for the 2021 MLB season if the full 2020 season isn’t played, according to a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
Manfred’s offer, described by Passan as an “olive branch” to the MLB Players’ Association, is intended to prevent players from forfeiting leverage during negotiations for the potential upcoming season.
As Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic reports, Manfred’s letter to Clark suggests that the earliest players could report for spring training camp is June 29 leaving 66 days to play 60 games.
Multiple reports indicated that the MLBPA had planned to vote Sunday on whether or not to accept the league’s latest offer, which consisted of a 60-game season at full prorated pay and expanded playoffs.
Ultimately, the players did not vote on Sunday, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. So the league’s 60-game offer remains, but the timeline on the potential start to spring training has been pushed back.
Rosenthal adds that players had signed off on Manfred having the right to terminate the 2020 season at any point after consulting with medical experts and the MLBPA. They were also concerns that if the season was shortened they would be giving away 2021 post-season and getting too little in return.
MLB currently hopes to begin its season around July 24-27.