We have been waiting for 6 weeks for any concrete news about when we will be able to watch the Seattle Mariners again. Well, we may finally have some real answers from MLB soon.
It all started on Sunday when former MLB infielder Trevor Plouffe reported that players had told him that they were under the impression that Spring Training II would start again on June 10th with the goal of Opening Day being played on July 1st.
The news was quickly disputed by national baseball writers including Keith Law, Jon Heyman, and Ken Rosenthal. Tweets like Keith Law’s weren’t uncommon at typically looked like this:
But backup for Trevor Plouffe quickly arrived from another former player, Phil Hughes:
Well now, just days after largely being scoffed at by national writers, we have this article from ESPN’s Jeff Passan. In the article, Passan reports that MLB will have a formal proposal to give to the MLBPA by sometime next week. The proposal calls to start the 2020 season sometime in July with a brief spring training starting sometime in the middle of June. Passan adds that teams are encouraging their players to start getting in shape now.
While this is encouraging news, Passan points to many of the issues that still need to be worked out. The Players Association would need to approve the plan which is expected to propose playing games in the home ballparks without fans. Owners will likely ask players to take pay cuts, another significant hurdle.
The plan would also need to address contingencies in the event a city or state sees a significant spike in COVID-19 cases. Several players have already asked the union for clarity on the ramifications if they choose to sit out the 2020 season for fear of passing the illness onto their family. Can and will regular testing be possible for the players who choose to play?
This doesn’t even account for smaller issues that still need to be worked out like length of the season, size of rosters, divisions, playoff seeding, and more.
There is some reason for optimism, but fans should remain cautious of any plan until we know more of the details. But if and when Mariners baseball is played again, I know we will be ready. But some things are more important than the Mariners, so stay vigilant and safe.