Baseball

Quick Hits: Return To Play Negotiations, Minor League Releases

Let’s check on the latest notes from around baseball following a week of disappointment as MLB and the MLBPA attempt to agree upon the economics of a potential return to play in 2020.

  • Some portion of the league’s owners are “perfectly willing to shut down the season,” hears Buster Olney of ESPN. Doing so would obviously reduce teams’ payroll expenditures and their immediate potential operating losses associated with playing games without fans in attendance, but the optics of such a decision during a nationwide economic crisis could certainly diminish the league’s popularity in the longer-term. With that in mind, Olney hears there’s some division among owners about the proper way to move forward with negotiations. Of course, individuals broadly bucketed on the players’ side haven’t been immune to conflict themselves, most publicly one involving Trevor Bauer and Scott Boras.
  • Last week, Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of the Athletic floated June 1 as an informal deadline for the parties to reach an agreement if they were to have the regular season underway by Fourth of July weekend. With no agreement imminent, tomorrow’s target date for a deal will surely go unmet. Nevertheless, Joel Sherman of the New York Post hears that a mid-June spring training 2.0 and July 3 Opening Day could still be in the cards- if the sides can agree upon a deal by “next weekend, maybe a day or two (after).” Given the current state of negotiations, having a deal completed or extremely close to completion a mere week from now seems unlikely, but it’s possible the sides can pick up momentum on talks in the coming days.
  • The Indians became the latest team to make an assortment of minor-league cuts. Cleveland released eleven players, reports Paul Hoynes of cleveland.com, including 2014 supplemental first-rounder Mike Papi. Hoynes runs down the complete list of players cut loose, none of whom have MLB experience. Those players will continue to receive health benefits through August, he adds.


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