Major League Baseball and the Players' Association signed off Friday on a deal regarding how things will shake out if there is a shortened or canceled season amid the coronavirus pandemic.
According to multiple reports, the deal between MLB and the MLBPA focuses on how a shortened season will look (including the potential of an expanded playoff field), where games will be played (including the potential of playing at neutral sites and/or in front of no fans for a period of time), and how arbitration and free agency will be impacted if the season is shortened or canceled.
Per Tony Clark, who is the chief of the MLBPA, players -- while preferring to play in front of fans and not empty ballparks -- are open to whatever gets them back playing as soon as possible.
"Players want to play,'' Clark said, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today. "That's what we do. Being able to get back on the field and being able to play, even if that means their fans are watching at home. Being able to play for their fans is something they've all expressed a desire and an interest to do, and to do so as soon as possible.''
With the potential that the postseason in 2020 could extend deep into November, Clark said the players are open to "play as long as we possibly could."
"Obviously, the weather becomes a challenge the later you get in the calendar year, but we would do our best to play as many as possible regardless of when we start. How many games remains to be seen.''
Clark also weighed in on what could be an expanded postseason field in 2020.
"Is this a year where trying different things could be of benefit?'' Clark said. "And that is one of the things that in a one-year trial could be a benefit.''