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#pounditSaturday, December 3, 2022

MLB reaches deal about player pay, draft, service team for shortened 2020 season

Mookie Betts

MLB and the players’ union have agreed on a deal related to a shortened 2020 baseball season.

The deal will address numerous issues related to the delay in the baseball season due to the coronavirus pandemic. ESPN’s Jeff Passan says the owners are expected to ratify the deal on Friday.

Here are some of the terms of the agreement, as reported by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

– Players will receive a $170 million advance that will be paid regardless of whether a season is played (Passan)
– Player salaries will be pro-rated based on the length of the season (Rosenthal)
– Players to receive a full year of service time if they are active or on injured list for entirety of shortened season (Rosenthal)

– 2020 Draft will be five rounds but could be increased at MLB’s discretion (Rosenthal)
– 2020 Draft will be held no later than July (Rosenthal)
– 2021 Draft can be shortened to 20 rounds by MLB (Passan)

– 2020 international signing period can be pushed back to as late as January 2021 (Passan)
– 2021 international signing period can be pushed back to January 2022-December 2022 (Passan)

Some of the interesting takeaways have to do with free agency. In an absolutely wild scenario, Mookie Betts, whom the Dodgers traded for as the center of a blockbuster deal with Boston, could theoretically become a free agent without even playing a game for the Dodgers. That would require the entire season to be canceled though.

The owners also decided to agree to pay the players $170 million regardless of whether or not a season is played. That is viewed as somewhat of an insurance policy; they are giving players that money, and in exchange, the players will not be able to sue for their full salaries.

We need more information on scenarios for different players to fully evaluate the deal. If players need to be on the active roster or injured list for the entirety of the season in order to get credit for a full year of service time, that theoretically could mean players with under four years would be optioned to the minors in order for teams to get an extra year of control over the players.

And after a big offseason of spending by MLB owners after years of most teams being fiscally conservative, the lack of revenues this year could lead them to go back to their frugal ways next offseason.


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