We’re a step closer to Toronto Blue Jays baseball potentially returning, with the owners set to submit a league proposal for the 2020 season to the Players Union on Tuesday.
As much as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to control the narrative at this stage, it hasn’t stopped Major League Baseball considering various options to play a 2020 season. As a result, new developments on Monday might mean we’re a step closer to the Toronto Blue Jays finally returning to action.
As reported by The Associated Press via CBC, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and the owners have approved a plan to start the season in July. The proposal is set to be submitted to the Players Union on Tuesday.
We appreciate the proposal will be a lot more in-depth than the information which has been leaked ahead of its submission. In any event, here are three key aspects which the Players Union will consider when deciding whether to accepting the owners’ plan:
1) A safer regular season schedule
One of the main aspects of the proposal is to hold a 82-game regular season. This makes sense in respect of limiting how much travel takes place, especially with a solution to the virus still unclear.
As per CBC, to further assist in limiting the potential for new cases, the majority of a team’s schedule would be against their own division. Of course, in the case of the Blue Jays this would mean mostly playing the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles.
There would still be interleague play for the Blue Jays, but this would be limited to the American League East playing the National League East. Similarly, the AL Central would just play the NL Central, while the AL West would just face the NL West.
What we really like about the interleague play, is the apparent proposal to have a universal designated hitter rule. As much as the purest will be against this, it would represent a progressive and popular move.
The main sticking point here could well be the 82 games, with the players already agreeing to pro-rated salaries in 2020 based on how often they play. However, the number of games will be tough to increase, just because of when the season is scheduled to start but the timeline being influenced by the ongoing pandemic.