Phillies rumor: Good news for baseball fans may come Monday

J.T. Realmuto #10 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
J.T. Realmuto #10 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

A deal for a 2020 Phillies season could come on Monday

It surely was a marathon and not a spring, but it appears we are approaching the finish line of the seemingly never-ending negotiations between Major League Baseball and the players for a 2020 Phillies season.

Monday morning, the players were prepared to have a virtual meeting and to vote on the league’s 60-game proposal, however CBS Sports insider Jim Bowden says some “late-breaking tweaking between the clubs and Tony Clark” pushed that meeting back a few hours, as both sides “try to work this thing through.”

Bowden adds that he believes there is a chance that the players will vote shortly, and, that “we might have some good news for baseball fans by the end of the day.”

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Thus far, notable components of any deal that both the league and players seem to have agreed on for a shortened 2020 season, include detailed health and safety protocols, expanded rosters, the universal designated hitter, a regional-based schedule to minimize travel, and an expanded postseason.

What they have not been in agreement on, to date, however, is amount of games played and salary.

Bowden says indications he is getting from a “prominent member on the players’ side” is that the players will end up approving MLB’s latest 60-game schedule proposal. And, given the news early this past weekend that players around the league have started to test positive for the coronavirus — the first being the Phillies — the players have been pressured to “get it done.”

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“There were some last-minute maneuvering on both sides to try to protect the players here,” Bowden says, “but the news over the weekend about 40 major league players testing positive at least, certainly has put this whole situation into some pressure for the players to get it done.”

The players also believe, according to Bowden, that if they reject MLB’s 60-game schedule proposal, the owners will go ahead and implement a schedule of 48 to 50 games.

“So, they feel, at this point, the best bet for them financially is going to be to take the 60,” Bowden says. “On the other side, there are some owners that prefer to implement because they feel like they would do well in front of an arbitrator. At the end of the day, other owners sit there and say ‘Look, we don’t want to be responsible to force the players to come back and play in a pandemic.'”

“So, they would much rather have an agreement.”