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MLB, MLS Inch Towards Return

Photo Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

MLB and MLS both took a step towards returning yesterday, as the player unions for both leagues furthered proposals that would get players back on the field.

The MLB Players Association delivered a counter-proposal to MLB that would include a 114-game season that would start on June 30 and end on October 31. As part of the deal, players would have the right to opt out of the season and potentially defer salaries if the 2020 postseason was canceled, while they would also get a total advance of $100 million in salary for attending spring training.

The two sides had been embroiled in a debate around the return of baseball, getting stuck mostly on the topics of the health and well-being of the players with testing and health protocols, and the players’ financial compensation. Team owners had previously requested players take even greater pay cuts than previously agreed to, causing blowback from players and agents alike. In the MLBPA proposal, it calls for two years of playoff expansion that would include two additional teams from each league, part of a recent proposal from the league.

In soccer, the MLS Players Association voted to approve a summer tournament in Orlando as part of a wider package of economic concessions for the 2020 season and the modification of the currently tentative CBA extension, which was agreed upon in February but has not yet been ratified. Included in that are salary reductions across the entire player base and reduced bonuses. The package has been submitted to the league for a decision by the league’s owners.

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