The MLB Players Association agreed to add games to the back end of the pandemic shortened season, tacking on extra teams to an expanded playoff with 16 entrants, up from the usual 10.

ESPN reports that following approval for the proposal, which could add up to three wild card teams from the American and National Leagues, the union is awaiting ratification from team owners. 

The sides must come to an agreement before first pitch of the season opener between the Nationals and Yankees.

Division winners may be allowed to pick which team they would like to face in a new best-of-three first round played at their home ballpark. 

Though the ongoing coronavirus pandemic will likely force teams to play in empty stadiums –  or at best, in front of cardboard cutouts –  the additional TV revenue could offset reduced profits from the loss of regular-season games and ticket and concession revenue.

There is some concern that an expanded playoff would brush up against a second wave of the still-ranging pandemic.

Since 2012, playoff seeding was assigned to the three division winners and two wild cards, who played each other in a one-game winner-take-all, with the advent of the wild-card round routinely pushing the World Series into November. 

The new setup, if it passes, will almost assuredly delay the start of the World Series even further.

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