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OC Register: MLB players hold off on voting on proposed 60-game schedule

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It appears the stalemate between baseball owners and players will last a little longer, as the players have reportedly decided to wait a few days before voting on the most recent owners’ proposal for the Major League Baseball season.

According to multiple reports, players were seeking more information about COVID-19 and the sport’s health precautions after reports of positive tests for players on several teams, including two with the Angels.

Owners have offered the players a 60-game schedule, plus expanded playoffs. The players countered by asking for 70 games, and the owners said that they would not add any games to their proposal.

Players were meeting on Saturday to determine if they wanted to accept the 60-game plan. If not, Commissioner Rob Manfred could unilaterally implement a schedule of any length. However, there would be no expanded playoffs — which MLB hoped would create more revenue — and the players would retain the right to file a grievance that could eventually cost the owners $1 billion.

The difference in salary between a 60-game season and a 70-game season is $250 to $300 million, or less than $10 million per team.

If plans for the season are solidified, all teams — with the possible exception of the Toronto Blue Jays, because of Canadian travel restrictions — are expected to have their “spring” training at their home ballparks.

Arizona and Florida have both seen recent increases in coronavirus cases, including positive tests coming out of the Florida camps of the Philadelphia Phillies, Houston Astros, New York Yankees and Blue Jays.

Angels general manager Billy Eppler said last month his preference was to have the Angels train at Angel Stadium.

The two Angels players who tested positive for the coronavirus had not been working out at either Angels Stadium or the complex in Tempe, Eppler said. He would not say if they were major leaguers or minor leaguers.

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