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MLB proposes 154-game season, MLBPA rejects it, planning April 1 start date

MLB made a proposal to the MLBPA regarding the 2021 season’s scheduling, but negotiations are still underway between the two sides.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr. presents the Commissioners Trophy to Los Angeles Dodgers Owner Mark Walter after the Dodgers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 6 to clinch the 2020 World Series at Globe Life Field on Tuesday, October 27, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Feb 1 update: The MLBPA has rejected the owners’ proposal and announced plans to prepare for an April 1 regular season start date and a mid-February spring training start date. The players’ union expressed concerns about the terms and conditions, including a lack of a guarantee on receiving full season pay in the event of interruptions to the season.

The 2021 MLB season is around the corner, but the campaign's schedule has yet to be finalized. MLB proposed a 154-game schedule with full pay to the MLBPA on Friday, according to Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown.

MLB’s proposal suggested delaying the season opener by a month and extending the postseason so that the World Series would start in November. The start of spring training would move from February 15 to March 22, while the season opener would move from April 1 to April 28 under the adjusted schedule.

The MLBPA is concerned by the proposal granting commissioner Rob Manfred “expanded authority” to shut down the season. Players are concerned that the proposed 154-game schedule does not guarantee 162 games worth of payment because of potential cancellations during a shortened playing window, according to MLB Network’s Joel Sherman. The union has already turned down the proposed extended postseason and is not in favor of the proposed swapping of an expanded playoff period for a universal DH.

Last year’s 60-game season began in late-June and ran through the end of September in the heart of the Covid-19 pandemic. The World Series champs were crowned in October. How soon MLB and the union can agree to terms remains to be seen.