As Major League Baseball handles the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic and tries to determine when -- or even if -- it will begin its season, the league is grappling with a number of key issues that could come to a head over the next few days, sources familiar with the dealings told ESPN.
The subjects MLB is juggling, according to sources, include:
A deal with the MLB Players Association that would advance a portion of players' salaries and cover a wide swath of labor-related issues
Receiving assurances from teams that non-player employees will receive paychecks through at least April, with cost-cutting measures a possibility come May
Delivering payments to minor league players, most of whom have not received a paycheck since the end of last season in early September
MLB and the MLBPA have worked toward a potential agreement over the past 10 days, acknowledging the inevitability of a shortened season that both parties hope would begin by early June and would guarantee players a prorated salary that would depend on the number of games played, sources said. Multiple players told ESPN they are willing to play a significant number of doubleheaders -- as many as two per week -- to make up for lost games and try to get as close to a full 162-game schedule as possible.