MLB MLBPA expanded playoffs
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Report: MLB, MLBPA discussing expanded playoffs

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Jon Heyman reports that MLB and the MLBPA are discussing expanded playoffs following the 60-game regular season. The current idea is to expand the total number of playoff teams from 10 to 16.

Despite back-and-forth negotiations in May and June, the two sides were unable to successfully renegotiate the temporary March agreement, which set into place many of the details for the 2020 season. As a result, commissioner Rob Manfred enacted the 2020 season at 60 games following a unanimous vote from the owners. The playoffs remained the same as in previous seasons.

The owners want expanded playoffs because they will make most of their money this year from postseason TV revenue. There will be no ticket or concession revenues as games will not be played in front of fans. If the union is to agree to expanded playoffs, the owners would likely have to be generous in sharing their profits. Exactly how much of the pie they’ll have to give up remains to be seen.

As Heyman notes, any agreement to expand the playoffs must be made before the 2020 regular season officially kicks off at 7:08 PM ET on Thursday, when the Nationals host the Yankees.

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”