The distrust between MLB players and owners is something that has to be carefully managed by Commissioner Rob Manfred. The negotiations for a 2020 season have been a total disaster and it is likely these issues carry over to 2021 as it stands right now.
Manfred has reportedly decided to at least extend one concession to the players by addressing some rule changes that were expected to take place this year and also be used in 2021.
The key here is that the universal DH and expanded playoffs would not be used in 2021 if a 2020 season cannot be completed with a World Series champion. This eliminates the possibility of the players losing leverage in negotiations if there isn't even a chance for expanded playoffs to be used and also serves as a rare concession from Manfred.
There was expected to be a vote taken by players Sunday to decide whether to accept a 60-game season or let Manfred decide how long the season will be. However, spikes in COVID-19 cases have complicated the situation.
The players and the owners have not even been close to being on the same page in these three-month long negotiations. Manfred is the middle-man representing the owners and it is a nice small step to see him actually give something up to the players to share even the smallest amount of goodwill.
Now we must all wait and see if Manfred's gesture makes any difference for the MLBPA when it comes to accepting a deal.