Yankees: President Randy Levine Speaks Out on How 2020 Season Can Start
By Adam Weinrib
Yankees president Randy Levine had some thoughts about how to start the 2020 MLB season.
As the 2020 MLB season swiftly rumbles off the tracks, even with players from Mike Tauchman to Mike Trout currently begging to be told when and where to report, it’s easy to be disillusioned and only thing about how far we are from a resolution.
Owners are refusing to talk to the media and defend their position, but they expect players to head immediately back to the bargaining table after going scorched earth over the weekend. It’s a tough scene to parse.
But at least one owner-adjacent source has spoken out on Tuesday in the person of Yankees President Randy Levine, and he told MLB insiders on Tuesday that a path to a resolution is still possible, claiming that ownership wants a season to be played, and is informing the commissioner as such.
Calling players “patriots” after MLB reportedly leaked their medical history to the AP in order to potentially stall further rings a little hollow, but we digress.
Clearly, there’s common ground here that would result in a deal being the most palatable option for both sides. In fact, Levine even said as much, reiterating the commissioner’s ability to craft a schedule…as long as the players are paid what they agreed to on March 26.
Contrary to popular belief, Levine seems to believe health and safety are the main remaining sticking points, meaning that the commissioner understands his responsibility to pro rata, as well as how best to avoid a grievance with the Union (a good faith season with a full payment structure, which would have to feature more than 50 or so games if installed now).
Most importantly, despite how much power he wields on a daily basis, Levine is just like the rest of us. He wants players and owners to actually get in a room — NOW — and finish this, as long as the conversation truly has moved to a potential deal’s finer points.
MLB’s attempt to throw cold water on a 2020 season yesterday certainly woke up the baseball world, with most vocal entities now calling for Rob Manfred’s head.
Levine can be as ruthless as it gets — remember the Dellin Betances arbitration negotiations? — but even he believes both sides want the same thing, and will fulfill their desires if they break bread together in the coming days, even without “new leadership” on either side.