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Mariners, Dbacks almost had Mike Leake trade in place this week

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We don’t normally talk about trades that didn’t happen, mostly because we don’t typically know about trades that didn’t happen. Someone, however . . . Leaked this one.

Sorry.

Anyway: Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports that the Mariners nearly traded stater Mike Leake to the Diamondbacks earlier this week. Negotiations hit a wall sometime Tuesday night, though, and it died. Then last night Leake went out and tossed a complete game against the Astros, and Divish says that that may cause things to either heat back up with Arizona or generate other interest.

As it is, you have to expect that the Mariners will trade every veteran who isn’t nailed down, so it’d be an upset if Leake remained on the club through July. If he continues to pitch like he did last night they may even have a little bidding war on their hands.

At the moment, though, it’s just one nice start, as Leake is sporting a 4.30 ERA with just 56 strikeouts in 81.2 innings and there’s $30 million left on his deal between this year and next year. The Cardinals have to supply a portion of that and, one assumes, Seattle will eat some money as well.

MLBPA proposes 114-game season, playoff expansion to MLB

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ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Major League Baseball Players Association has submitted a proposal to the league concerning the 2020 season. The proposal includes a 114-game season with an end date on October 31, playoff expansion for two years, the right for players to opt out of the season, and a potential deferral of 2020 salaries if the postseason were to be canceled.

Passan clarifies that among the players who choose to opt out, only those that are considered “high risk” would still receive their salaries. The others would simply receive service time. The union also proposed that the players receive a non-refundable $100 million sum advance during what would essentially be Spring Training 2.

If the regular season were to begin in early July, as has often been mentioned as the target, that would give the league four months to cram in 114 games. There would have to be occasional double-headers, or the players would have to be okay with few off-days. Nothing has been mentioned about division realignment or a geographically-oriented schedule, but those could potentially ease some of the burden.

Last week, the owners made their proposal to the union, suggesting a “sliding scale” salary structure. The union did not like that suggestion. Players were very vocal about it, including on social media as Max Scherzer — one of eight players on the union’s executive subcommittee — made a public statement. The owners will soon respond to the union’s proposal. They almost certainly won’t be happy with many of the details, but the two sides can perhaps find a starting point and bridge the gap. As the calendar turns to June, time is running out for the two sides to hammer out an agreement on what a 2020 season will look like.