It looks like the coronavirus is back in the equation when it comes to the back-and-forth talks between MLB and the players’ union.
The Major League Baseball Players Association will not vote on the league’s latest return-to-the-field plan until they collect new data regarding coronavirus testing, according to ESPN on Saturday.
This comes on the heels of several recent outbreaks in spring training sites and major league cities. According to ESPN, the vote could have taken place on Sunday but is now expected to be delayed a day or two after the executive board met on Saturday.
On Friday, MLB closed down all spring training sites for cleaning after the Phillies and other teams started to report a surge of coronavirus cases. A day later, four members of the Yankees organization tested positive for the virus, according to The Post’s George A. King III.
The union also said Friday that MLB turned down their offer for a 70-game season with pro-rated salaries and that they can accept the league’s 60-game offer with expanded playoffs, along with a promise not to file a grievance. The players could reject the proposal, which would force commissioner Rob Manfred to implement his own schedule.
Nevertheless, all of the negotiations could prove to be for naught if the increase in coronavirus cases turn into a longer-term problem, rather than just a momentary spike.
Spring training was shut down in March because of the virus.