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Owners, players appear to be moving closer to a deal to resume baseball

Will there be a MYSTERY DEAL?

World Baseball Classic - Championship Round - Game 3 - USA v Puerto Rico

Owners and players have traded heated barbs over the last few weeks as negotiations on how much to compensate players this season has turned acrimonious, but today brought a much lighter tone from the two sides with news that a potential deal may be close. According to reporter Jon Heyman, the two sides are closing in on a deal that would give pro-rated pay and expand the playoffs. Ken Rosenthal has more specifics on the latest proposal from MLB.

The season would begin in mid-July with a 60-game season, with players earning full pro-rated salaries. The playoffs would expand from 10 to 16 teams for both 2020 and 2021, to give owners more television revenue. The union would waive their right to file a grievance against owners for failure to negotiate in good faith.

Commissioner Rob Manfred released a statement that did not affirm a deal was done, but did show some optimism that a framework is in place.

Under full pro-rated salaries, players would still earn about 37 percent of what they were expecting to make before the season, a slight improvement from previous offers from the owners. Players were adamant in receiving full pro-rata agreed to by owners back in March. However owners later wanted to reduce pay even further due to the expected lack of fans.

An expanded playoff with a short season could wreak havoc on the standings this season, with many mediocre teams able to be within striking distance of the playoffs. To have a shot however, the Royals will have to get off to a better start than they have the last two seasons. After 60 games, the 2019 Royals were already 19-41 and the 2018 club was 21-39.

When a deal is reached, there will need to be time to assemble players together and prepare stadiums for social distancing. Alex Gordon and Nicky Lopez were already working out at Kauffman Stadium today.

Players would likely need three weeks of training to get back to playing condition, with a season to begin in mid-July running until late September.