MLB 2021 season: Owners send proposal to MLB players’ association for 154-game schedule, season to be delayed by one month (reports)
The MLB sent a proposal to the MLB Players Association on Friday for a 154-game schedule in 2021 and for the season to be delayed by one month, Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports and others have reported.
The plan includes players receiving their full 162-game salary.
The plan gives players more time to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. MLB owners also want the season to be delayed as it gives the general public more time to receive the vaccine. Obviously, the hope is that at least some fans, with limited capacity, will attend the games by the opening day.
Jon Heyman of the MLB Network reported that the offer also includes extended playoffs and universal DH.
USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported in December the union wanted to start on time and the owners wanted the season to be delayed by a month so that all players could receive the vaccine before showing up.
Players followed strict safety protocols during the shortened 2020 season, which was delayed until July and consisted of 60-game schedules with expanded playoffs after owners and players failed to agree on a start date. The season only happened because the league had the option of unilaterally implementing a schedule of the desired duration.
Players agreed to pro-rata salaries in 2020.
As of now, the Boston Red Sox will debut on April 1 against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park. They are expected to start the season with six home games (three games against the Orioles and three games against the Rays).
The Red Sox’s first Grapefruit League game is scheduled for February 27 against the Pittsburgh Pirates at JetBlue Park. Their February 26 exhibition match against Northeastern University has already been called off, reported our own Chris Cotillo.