SHANNON DRAYER

Mariners Notebook: Future of 2020 MLB season at a critical point

May 26, 2020, 10:19 AM
Mariners...
Whether the Mariners play in 2020 could be decided in the next week or so. (Getty)
(Getty)

With the MLBPA expected to have the financial side of the return to play plan presented to them by the owners by the end of the day Tuesday, we are facing the beginning of what could prove to be a monumental week to ten days in baseball with ramifications that go far beyond the 2020 season.

Drayer: Mariners expected to reopen spring training facility next week

The optimism for amicable negotiations expressed by both sides following the initial stoppage of play agreement failed to materialize when  the proposal of revenue sharing became public via leaks to the media and were immediately smashed back by union chief Tony Clark, insisting such plans would be a nonstarter. According to reports, there is a Plan B and we should hear more about that in the coming days.

Whether that plan involves deferred salaries, additional games, larger rosters, future considerations and assurances or whatever creative work around is hatched up, the bottom line is time is running out to come to agreement. While there isn’t a hard deadline to get a deal done, it’s highly unlikely we will see a season start in August. This is baseball’s window to return. If they don’t come to agreement, the first professional team sport we see return very well could be the NBA at the end of July. All of this adds up to an 11th hour that should fall sometime early next week should the two sides not be able to come to agreement before. At that point, the MLB and MLBPA will be holding a considerable amount of baseball’s future in their hands.

So we wait and we watch as the two sides work to come to agreement on not one but two proposals as they are still working out the health and safety side of the deal. In the meantime, organizations are lining up everything that will be necessary to enact those safety plans as well as travel and other logistics should there be a season. Team facilities for limited workouts are continuing to open and decisions are being made as to where each would hold their Spring Training 2.0. Within the next two weeks we should know if those plans will be enacted.

Notes

• After numerous delays and setbacks in their return plan, the NPB in Japan has announced they will begin their season June 19. A number of the league’s 12 teams have begun to hold intrasquad games with practice games against other teams scheduled to begin next week. The Japanese league has canceled its All Star Game but hopes to get in 120 games in a shortened season.

• One local Mariners minor leaguer got a in a heck of a workout with a former Husky this week.

• This week on Mariners Classics which can be heard each evening at 7 p.m. on 710 ESPN Seattle, it’s pitcher week. Big pitching performances on tap including Hisashi Iwakuma’s no-hitter (Tuesday), not one, but two Randy Johnson 19 K games, Roger Clemens’ 20K vs the Mariners in Boston and more.

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Shannon Drayer on Twitter.

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Mariners Notebook: Future of 2020 MLB season at a critical point