It's unclear how the pie will be split, though it seems likely that the players with the guaranteed deals would get the biggest shares. If the season is canceled, players will get the same service time they earned in 2019. Both the 2020 and '21 drafts may be delayed up until July 20, with the potential of shortening this year's edition to as few as five rounds and next year's session to as few as 20 rounds. They would consider a large increase in doubleheaders to get as many games in as they can, to play without fans and to revise the postseason format.
If the season is cancelled, players will receive a match of their 2019 credit, which notably for the Toronto Blue Jays means Bo Bichette, who collected only 63 days last year, still wouldn't be at a full-year and therefore still six full seasons away from free agency.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report. That means an array of now signed players, notably the Dodgers' Mookie Betts, can become free agents in November regardless of the season's status. Another interesting example: The Red Sox traded Mookie Betts to the Dodgers in the offseason.
But the trade-off was players would give up their salaries if there is no season, other than the $170m being advanced.
The players approved the proposal in a vote held Thursday, which was originally scheduled to be opening day for the 2020 season.
Teams can defer signing bonuses for draft picks in 2020 and 2021, with 10% due within 30 days of each contract's approval and 45% on July 1 in each of the following two years. Additionally, the 2021 draft can be trimmed to 20 rounds and the subsequent IFA period can be pushed back. The real question is what happens to arb-eligible players if the season is cancelled, since they'll have no stats at all. The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal adds that salaries will be pro-rated based on length of season, and players have agreed not to sue for full salaries.
While the thresholds for the luxury tax remain unchanged, the amount due by a club would be reduced by the percentage of regular-season games not played by that team.
The agreement also calls for a transaction freeze, which bars teams from signing free agents, trading players and making roster moves.
The earliest in which play can resume is now mid-May, though all signs point to the hiatus extending into June or even July.
The owners completed an agreement reached between Major League Baseball and the players' union Thursday night, which came after almost two weeks of morning-to-night negotiations that involved players, owners, agents, executives, union officials and commissioner's office staff.