Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |
On Monday, April 6, Major League Baseball outlined to the Players Association a number of contingency plans to save the season, the now-famous Arizona plan among them.
Hard work behind the scenes continues, but a formal follow-up meeting has not yet happened.
That detail alone should provide a strong caution against viewing one particular plan as close to becoming reality. Officials on the club and player side all have expressed increased optimism over the past week or so that MLB will be able to stage some version of a 2020 season, as SNY has reported.
But according to one official briefed on the process, there are as many as 15 plans currently under discussion. Various officials are working hard on all of these plans.
"In a few weeks," said one source, "they'll go with the one that makes the most sense at that time."
The Arizona plan, in which all teams would play in the Phoenix area, received early approval from government health officials. It remains an option for baseball to start in Arizona and remains agile enough to fan out to other cities if that is deemed safe.
Other contingencies contain more ambitious plans for play in several cities. Part of the motivation for that is that it would be better -- and likely more lucrative -- to be able to televise games from different time zones through the day and night. Because of this, some officials think that the Arizona plan has lost a bit of steam, though it remains on the list.
Clearly, the more travel a plan involves, the riskier it becomes. Some of the contingencies do involve regional travel for teams, but it is uncertain whether that is viable.
Both the league and players understand that the coronavirus will be the ultimate arbiter of whether MLB is able to resume. But all sides continue to hope for regular season games in July.