This article is part of our MLB Barometer series.
After weeks without much optimism regarding MLB's eventual return, we were finally treated to some good news Monday, with ESPN's Jeff Passan reporting that owners were finally ending their attempts to violate an agreement signed with the MLBPA back in late March that guaranteed the players their prorated salaries. After threatening to renege on that agreement by asking the players to return in the middle of an active pandemic while dramatically slashing their pay, the owners might finally be coming to their senses and realizing the damage they could do to the sport long-term if they prioritized their short-term finances over both the health of the game and kindergarten-level moral principles like following through on promises.
That's not to say that everything has been worked out and that we'll definitely have baseball in America this year, though things look considerably better than they did last week. There is, of course, the whole "asking players to return in the middle of an active pandemic" thing. This isn't a situation analogous to Taiwan or South Korea, where those two countries had essentially defeated the coronavirus before resuming play. I'm by no means an epidemiologist, but the odds of the virus disappearing from American soil by early July don't look good. This isn't necessarily a point of contention between the players and owners–both sides appear to be fully aware of the health risks involved and are willing to take the necessary steps to mitigate them–but there's no guarantee that a safe solution can