One of the major sticking points of negotiations during the ongoing MLB lockout has been the idea of expanding the postseason.
The owners have long wanted to expand the playoff field to 14 teams, while the Players Association prefers a 12-team format.
The two sides came to an agreement on 12 teams during the negotiations in Jupiter last week, but that doesn’t mean more changes can’t occur.
In yesterday’s session, the two sides were working off of what had already been agreed upon: the 12-team postseason structure.
The players had considered offering 14 teams again, but with the Wild Card series being a best of five instead of best of three, and the higher seed already starting out ahead 1-0, with a “ghost win” being awarded.
The sides today were still working off the 12-team postseason they temporarily agreed to in Jupiter. Players are open to the 14 preferred by MLB but they are apart on the format for 14 — the games, the ghost win, etc.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 6, 2022
The owners, while preferring a 14-team setup, are strongly opposed to the idea of a “ghost win.”
An Expanded Postseason Is Coming
As of now, the playoff structure sits at 12 teams, but things could still change as we move along in the bargaining process.
As previously mentioned, expanded playoffs has been a major sticking point of these negotiations.
As Jon Heyman notes in the tweet above, the players are open to a 14-team field, but the two sides remain miles apart on what the format for a 14-team postseason would look like.
According to Buster Olney, the players were hoping that if they agreed to a 14-team postseason, the league would be willing to be more flexible with the CBT thresholds, and that’s still possible, but again, the two sides are far apart on what the format would look like.
Regardless of what happens, baseball will much look different in 2022 once the CBA is finally hammered out and agreed upon.