Everybody knows that MLB players want to complete a 162-game season.
They don’t receive their full contract money if they don’t play the whole season: in 2020, for example, they got the prorated amount of their deals because the campaign had 60 games.
Playing as many games as possible is their goal, which is why they don’t want to miss games and hope for a quick resolution to the current collective bargaining agreement (CBA) talks.
MLB, however, has been hard to negotiate with, and the season may not start on time (it is currently scheduled to begin on March 31) if the sides don’t reach an agreement before February 28.
In case you didn’t realize it, that would be Monday: both sides have five or six days to overcome enormous financial differences in their proposals.
The Sides May Need To Get Creative
There might be a need to get creative if the sides want to play 162 games.
Reaching an agreement by Monday is not impossible, but it’s highly unlikely.
Negotiations won’t end on Monday if there is no deal: to the contrary, unless players strike (unlikely), they will keep bargaining until finding a deal.
That would result in lost days and, potentially, lost games.
But the parties may resort to cramming in order to play as many games as possible.
“Could the regular season start late, but still include 162 games? If the sides agreed to play seven-inning doubleheaders on some days, then theoretically, they could buy themselves more time to reach a deal,” The Athletic’s Evan Drellich wrote on Twitter.
Could the regular season start late, but still include 162 games? If the sides agreed to play seven-inning doubleheaders on some days, then theoretically, they could buy themselves more time to reach a deal. https://t.co/29X6zhsE1J
— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) February 23, 2022
It’s something both sides would have to seriously consider, because the odds of having a deal in place on Monday are slim, at best.
Playing so many doubleheaders is not ideal, but it’s an option they may have in their back pocket.