Despite all the negotiations, Major League Baseball never had any intention of staging anything longer than a 60-game regular season in 2020.
"The reality is, we weren't going to play more than 60 games no matter how the negotiations with the players went or any other factor," MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said during a Wednesday appearance on AM 570 LA Sports.
It was reported in May that the league was forming a return-to-play plan that involved an 82-game schedule, At the time, MLB was pursuing a revenue-sharing model that was unpalatable to the Major League Baseball Players Association, which sought the full prorated salaries players were guaranteed in March.
The MLBPA proposed a season as long as 114 games, as well as expanded postseasons in 2020 and 2021 to help the league recoup lost revenues amid the coronavirus pandemic. MLB rejected the MLBPA's most recent proposal, which involved a 70-game regular season.
"We're trying to manage something that has proven to be unpredictable and unmanageable. I know it hasn't looked particularly pretty in spots," Manfred added. "Having said that, if we can pull of this 60-game season, I think it was the best we were going to do for our fans, given the course of the virus."
A few players have opted out of the 2020 campaign since MLB mandated its 60-game return-to-play plan after negotiations with the union fell apart. Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Mike Leake became the first to officially say he would not participate, while Colorado Rockies outfielder Ian Desmond penned an emotional letter stating "home (with my family) is where I need to be right now."
MLB camps officially reopened Wednesday. An official start date for the season has not been announced, but reports have indicated the campaign will begin July 23.