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Report: No vote for MLBPA, start of spring training could be pushed

An overhead view of the spring training game between the Oakland Athletics and Arizona Diamondbacks at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on February 23, 2020 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

The Major League Baseball Players Association decided to not vote on the league’s proposed plan on Sunday, citing concerns about how the coronavirus outbreak could change the game.

MLB’s proposal for the season still stands at 60 games, but with the vote delayed, the start of spring training would be pushed to the week of June 29, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.

According to ESPN’S Jeff Passan, MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred sent a letter to MLBPA executive director Tony Clark on Sunday offering to cancel the expanded playoffs and the universal designated hitter for 2021 if a full season isn’t played. However, players are worried about losing potential leverage in the negotiations.

Owners and the union had hoped to have players begin testing Tuesday and then start a second round of spring training by next weekend.

Most teams had anticipated holding those workouts at their home ballparks, rather than at their spring camps in Florida and Arizona.

Over the weekend, MLB shut down spring training facilities in Arizona and Florida after multiple players tested positive.

Those states are also seeing a surge in coronavirus cases.

On Sunday, Arizona reported and additional 2,592 cases, pushing the state’s total to 52,390 confirmed coronavirus cases.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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