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Washington Nationals relief pitcher Sean Doolittle commented on the report.
The 2020 season remains on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Team owners and the MLB Players Association continue to be at odds over the terms for the start of baseball this year.
News of the positive tests comes after the Los Angeles Times‘ Bill Shaikin reported MLB indicated to the players’ union it wouldn’t sign off on a season unless players agreed not to pursue any legal action against the league in the future.
The longer the situation drags on, the more likely it seems the entire 2020 campaign will be scrapped.
The players remain committed to recognizing the terms of a March agreement in which the MLBPA said 2020 salaries will be prorated based on the number of games played. Owners, meanwhile, continue to throw out offers that ultimately create the same outcome.
Despite the lack of progress at the negotiating table, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred told ESPN’s Karl Ravech last Wednesday he was “100 percent” sure a season will come together. His tune had changed significantly by Monday.
With more states slowly opening back up amid the pandemic, American sports leagues have slowly inched their way toward a return. Both the NHL and NBA have unveiled plans to resume their respective seasons.
However, the easing of travel and business restrictions has led to an increase in confirmed coronavirus cases in some states. That trend presents MLB with another difficult hurdle to clear.