Major League Baseball's owners and players are locked in combative negotiations, but it appears they're on the same page regarding temporary realignment.
As part of its counteroffer to the league, the players' union agreed to MLB's proposal to abandon the traditional American and National Leagues this year in favor of a regionalized three-division format, sources told Michael Silverman of The Boston Globe.
Under the plan, the AL East and NL East would merge into one 10-team division, with each league's Central and West divisions doing the same, Silverman reports. Clubs would only play against their nine divisional opponents during the regular season in order to cut down on travel.
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All games would be played in each team's regular home ballpark without fans in attendance. It's unclear what the Toronto Blue Jays would do if Canada's COVID-19 border restrictions are still intact when the season starts.
It's also unclear what a playoff format in the realigned league could look like.
The length of the 2020 season remains in question as MLB and the union continue to negotiate. The players' latest proposal called for prorated salaries over a 114-game season starting June 30 and ending Oct. 31 while including room for doubleheaders, Silverman reports. Owners, who had initially proposed an 82-game campaign, reportedly plan to counter with a shorter schedule of around 50 games along with prorated salaries.