Though Trevor Plouff’s initial report about MLB restarting spring training on June 10 with a July 1 Opening Day was roundly refuted, his only real mistake was treating the information as definitive. Well, that and saying that teams would all be in their home parks to start the season. The July 1 target has long been discussed, with a three-week ramp-up seen as probable, but firm dates simply can’t be set and the league has not presented MLBPA with a proposal yet.
That will change within the week, according to Ken Rosenthal, who tweeted as much alongside a link to his earlier story ($) about the difficulty of setting anything in stone just yet. As it turns out, the Indians indeed informed a group of about 70 employees on a recent conference call that June 10 and July 1 were the projected dates in the proposal. Or at least their proposal. Those dates, however, are anything but firm.
Source confirms: MLB plans to give union a proposal regarding start of the season within a week. Wrote today about the continuing difficulty of formulating a plan. https://t.co/fGMrWJErJh Start dates remain fluid. Both @JeffPassan and @Joelsherman1 mentioned proposal coming soon.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) May 6, 2020
In addition to timing, MLB’s proposal is almost certain to include contingencies for different locations for both spring training and the regular season. There will also need to be provisions for expanded rosters and perhaps even guidelines on social distancing policies and/or the use of facial coverings. Most important, at least in terms of an agreement between the two sides, is the matter of how players will be compensated should play resume.
Details of the proposal may start to leak out over the next few days, but you can probably piece a lot of it together based on the leaks that have come out here and there. Just remember that it’s all still a framework for what will eventually happen, especially since more and more states reopening could have a significant impact on when and where games can take place. Stay tuned.