MLB and the Players Association discussed a plan on Monday that would see the 2020 season take place in empty Spring Training ballparks in Arizona.
MLB is exploring every option to get their season started, including holding all games in empty ballparks across Arizona.
The 30 MLB clubs and the Players Association discussed such a scenario during a conference call on Monday, according to Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press. The clubs would play each game at a Spring Training facility in Arizona, with the Diamondbacks home ballpark Chase Field holding daily tripleheaders.
Arizona is preferred over Florida because the Spring Training sites are more densely situated, limiting the amount of travel required. All games would take place without fans and only essential personnel in attendance. The plan is still in its preliminary stage, and it’s still unknown how many games they would hope to play or when such a season would begin.
It would be odd, but nothing is normal about the situation baseball currently finds itself in. The 2020 season was supposed to begin on March 26. More than a week later, there is still no indication of when, or if, games would be able to be played safely this year.
There are plenty of obstacles to overcome for this plan to become a reality. The players would have to be separated from their families for weeks, maybe even months. They would have to be quarantined, with their every movement closely monitored. And, in the worst-case scenario, a plan would need to be developed in case a player should test positive for COVID-19.
The Players Association wants to hear from its members before agreeing to anything, and Monday’s conference didn’t result in any sort of agreement. Agent Scott Boras, however, says the players will do anything to get back on the field.
“I think players are willing to do what’s necessary because I think they understand the importance of baseball for their own livelihoods and for the interest of our country and providing a necessary product that gives all the people that are isolated enjoyment,” he told AP.
They would have financial incentives to get in at least a shortened season. The league has agreed to pay $170 million in salaries for 60 days, but nothing further if the season is canceled. If a season takes place, however, contracts would be prorated to match the number of games played.
It’s a radical scenario, but for desperate baseball fans across America, it would be better than nothing.