Report: MLB, MLBPA Renew Talks on Playoff Expansion Ahead of Opening DayJuly 22, 2020
Major League Baseball and the players association are holding talks about a potential expanded playoff field just one day before the 2020 season begins, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network.
The current format calls for only 10 teams to qualify for the playoffs this year, but the two sides are discussing a possible expansion to 16 teams.
Any agreement must be made before the first pitch of the regular season, which is scheduled for Thursday at 7 p.m. ET when the New York Yankees take on the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park.
The league and MLBPA were involved in a long dispute over the past couple of months while attempting to hammer out details for the 2020 season after it was initially delayed because of the coronavirus.
A good portion of the disagreement focused on player salaries and length of the season, but they were reportedly close to a deal before MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred implemented a 60-game season.
According to Ronald Blum of the Associated Press, both sides had proposed a 16-team postseason, including eight best-of-three series.
The lack of a new financial agreement prevented the playoff expansion from taking place for 2020, but head of the players union Tony Clark said he would still consider it.
"I would simply say that if there's interest to discuss something, I'll be available to discuss it," Clark said in June, per Blum.
The expanded playoffs would give more teams an opportunity to compete for a World Series, perhaps evening the field in a shortened season.