Manfred and Clark meeting spurs hopes for a Minnesota Twins season
By Greg Simbeck
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and Tony Clark had a “promising” meeting, giving hope for a 2020 Minnesota Twins season.
The long delayed 2020 Major League Baseball season, due to the Coronavirus and disagreements between players and owners, might just see the light of day after all. After a two-day meeting. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred and Players Association Chief Tony Clark apparently agreed on a framework. Minnesota Twins fans, and fans all over the world hope so.
Pending approval from their constituents, the season will run at least 60 games, start July 16, and end with an expanded playoff format that would include 16 of the 30 teams. For the first time, the designated hitter would expand to all teams, including games between National league teams for 2020 and 2021.
Since minor-league baseball is on hold for this season, team rosters will expand to 30, with gradual reductions to 28 and eventually 26. A “taxi squad” of reserves will be on hand in the event an injury, or poor performance of a rostered player.
The framework would result in players receiving about 37% of their salaries and would come to roughly $1.48 billion from salaries originally totaling $4 billion. There would be a $25 million postseason players pool, which would compensate players in the event no tickets are sold for the games.
Still to be determined is the player minimum salary for the season, which would be worth $208,704 under MLB’s proposal and $309,577 under the union’s. The union would also wave additional claims that could cause an expensive grievance.
The plan would also include safety protocols designed to keep participants from catching COVID-19 and players with pre-existing conditions likely would be allowed to opt out with full pay. Also, both sides would contribute jointly to initiatives for social justice.
Everybody wants it back as soon as possible,” Minnesota Twins owner Jim Pohlad told the Minneapolis Star Tribune on Wednesday. “The fans want it back as soon as possible; MLB wants it back as soon as possible and the players want it back as soon as possible. So from a baseball standpoint and a brand standpoint, I think it is really important that it gets back as soon as possible.”
The Major League Baseball Players Association has countered a proposal by club owners to start the 2020 COVID-19 delayed regular season. MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark said players issued a 70-game proposal,10 games more than the proposal from MLB. The plan also includes a proposal to expand the playoffs for both 2020 and 2021.
The two sides remain more than $200 million apart on a deal that would offer $1 billion in salaries and include postseason pool pay. Club owners are offering $25 million in postseason money, while players are seeking $50 million.
Major League Baseball and the owners are expected to quickly reject the proposal, according to two people with direct knowledge of the talks.
So with guarded optimism, the hope is that our Minnesota Twins will once again take the field in 2020. As for me, I’m going to grab a hot dog and a beer and daydream about the upcoming regular season.