2020 MLB playoffs expanded to 16 teams, up from 10

MLB MLBPA expanded playoffs
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ESPN’s Marly Rivera reports that the MLBPA has agreed to a league proposal for expanded playoffs after the 2020 60-game regular season. The owners must ratify the agreement to make it official. [Update: They did.] This comes just hours before the regular season is set to begin with the Yankees and Nationals doing battle in the nation’s capital.

Jon Heyman initially reported on Wednesday evening that the playoffs could be expanded from10 total teams to 16. The two sides were unable to come to an agreement to replace the temporary March agreement, which could have included expanded playoffs. Commissioner Rob Manfred instead invoked a 60-game season on behalf of the owners, which initially left the playoff structure unchanged.

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.

Per Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY, there will be best-of-three matchups in the first round. ESPN’s Buster Olney adds that all first- and second-place teams in each division would qualify while the remaining two Wild Cards in each league would be determined by the best records among the remaining teams.

This is the first time MLB’s playoff format has changed since moving from one Wild Card team in each league to two in 2012. It is likely this change is for 2020 only, but we have seen in the past changes intended to become temporary instead become permanent.

Mariners sign RHP reliever Trevor Gott to 1-year contract

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Michael McLoone/USA TODAY Sports
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SEATTLE — The Seattle Mariners have begun the process of bolstering their bullpen by signing right-hander Trevor Gott to a one-year contract on Wednesday.

Gott appeared in 45 games last season with Milwaukee, going 3-4 with a 4.14 ERA. Gott had 44 strikeouts in 45 2/3 innings and held opponents to a .204 batting average.

Gott’s signing helps fill a void created when Erik Swanson was traded to Toronto as part of the deal that brought slugger Teoscar Hernandez to Seattle earlier this month. Gott has also pitched for San Francisco, Washington and the Los Angeles Angels.

Last season with the Brewers, Gott saw significant drops in batting average against and walk percentage, while raising his strikeout percentage.

Seattle also made a front office announcement Wednesday with the promotion of Andy McKay to assistant general manager. McKay has been with the club since 2015, when he was hired as the director of player development. McKay was promoted to senior director of baseball development in November 2021.

In his new role, McKay will oversee baseball development at all levels of the organization.