It’s been a crazy week for the MLB and the Phils, as news surfaces on Friday, June 19th, that five players and three coaches that were training in Clearwater, Florida have tested positive with coronavirus (COVID-19).
One of the players is supposedly said to be right-handed reliever Tommy Hunter, but has not been confirmed. No other names have been released yet, but multiple sources say that Aaron Nola, Andrew McCutchen, J.T. Realmuto, and Nick Pivetta have been training in Clearwater. Due to the eight confirmed cases, the Phillies have shut down the Clearwater facility indefinitely. There has not been much talk about whether or not these cases will affect the MLB’s plans for a season, but players are supposed to meet with owners tomorrow to discuss protection for players in 2020.
Aside from the COVID-19 cases, there has been a lot of news swirling around the MLB and MLBPA’s negotiations for a season, and it appears a deal is looming closer. Wednesday, the MLB agreed to give players full prorated pay for the 2020 season, but the two sides cannot agree on the number of games to play. The owners want the regular season over by September 27th, to avoid a possible “second wave” of coronavirus. So on Wednesday, they offered the players a 60 game season, with expanded playoffs for 2020 and 2021, but the players declined. The players on the other hand, want closer to a 70 game season as it would result in more money for the players. So Thursday, the players offered a 70 game season, with the regular season running from July 19th – September 30th, expanded 16 team playoffs in both 2020 and ’21, and playoff pool money. But the owners turned that proposal down.
Though it seems like the sides are far apart, they are closing in on a deal. Many believe that the sides will meet somewhere in the middle, and as of Friday, a 62-64 game season seems most likely. Many MLB insiders think that a deal can and will be reached as soon as Monday or Tuesday.
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