MLB offers 76-game season, playoffs rise

Major League Baseball has made another try to start the coronavirus-delayed season in early July, proposing a 76-game regular season in which players would receive about 75 per cent of their prorated salaries.

The league's latest proposal includes an expansion of the playoffs from 10 teams to as many as 16 with the regular season to commence around July 10 and end no later than September 27.

Players have refused cuts beyond what they agreed to in March - with the pay dependant on the number of games scheduled.

"If the players desire to accept this proposal, we need to reach an agreement by Wednesday," Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem wrote in a letter to union negotiator Bruce Meyer that was obtained by The Associated Press.

"While we are prepared to continue discussion past Wednesday on a season with fewer than 76 games, we simply do not have enough days to schedule a season of that length unless an agreement is reached in the next 48 hours."

There was no immediate response from the union, which is likely to view the plan as a step back because of the large percentage of salaries not guaranteed.

While there is little chance players would accept the latest proposal as is it should spark more talks.

MLB said it can't afford to play in ballparks without fans and on May 26 proposed an 82-game schedule while the players union countered five days later with a 114-game schedule.

In the NFL, teams are set to start bring players back to the workplace later this month with restrictions on numbers of personnel on-field, for in-person meetings and training group sizes.

The league issued a detailed list of protocols on Monday for the reopening of club facilities, in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The main topics covered are COVID-19 testing, physical distancing, facility access, cleaning and disinfecting of facility and equipment, food service, personal protective equipment and hygiene, plus the league's compliance orders.

Meanwhile, NBA teams will reportedly be permitted to carry replacement players who can be added to the active roster in the event of a positive COVID-19 test.

Players on two-way contracts would also be eligible to join the active roster if a team loses a player to injury.

Those rules are yet to be fully approved as the NBA modifies protocol and roster management regulation when the season resumes July 31.