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MLB News: Playoff Expansion Could Be Potential Key to a CBA Says Insider

After another tumultuous week for baseball, MLB and the MLBPA need to agree to a new CBA or risk the cancellation of additional regular season games.

The two parties failed to find common ground on a variety of issues, but ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the MLBPA is willing to restart the conversation on one particular hot button topic.

Previously, the MLBPA had repeatedly stonewalled MLB’s request for 14-team playoff format. Experts believe playoff expansion is one of the few leverage points the players’ association has at the moment. Most experts approximate that expanding the playoffs would generate an additional $100M in television fees for MLB owners.

Olney also stated that it’s not the large-market teams that are pushing for the expanded playoffs.

Nevertheless, the MLBPA is open to discussing an idea they were previously firmly against. Now that, almost sounds like bargaining in the hopes to reach an agreement.

The Dodgers have made the playoffs in nine-straight seasons. If the playoffs are expanded to 14 teams, that streak is almost guaranteed to reach the decade mark. If not beyond.

Note, the details of the structure of the 14-team playoff still have to be determined. It is encouraging that the MLBPA is willing to discuss a divisive topic in the hopes of getting that much closer to a CBA.

Expanding the playoffs could be the $100M key that opens the door to a new CBA and the return of baseball.

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  1. Re the 14 team playoffs, I go back to the days where the best won-lost record team in one league played the best in the other. There were 16 teams then. Now, MLB wants 14 teams in playoffs. The ratio used to be two in 16, now MLB wants 14 of 30- a bit of a distortion. The original idea was the best of the best; the new one is akin to every kid gets a trophy no matter what. The answer is simple: Greed. These rules changes make every prior record irrelevant. That’s OK if you want to adapt but do not then call yourself a sport steeped in tradition