The potential snags go well beyond money.

Returning to play in this environment poses a risk to players, one they hope is allayed as much as possible in the league’s proposal. Multiple players have reached out to the union asking what would happen if they opted not to play in 2020 out of fear for their health or a desire to remain with their families during the pandemic, sources told ESPN. Further, a more direct question was asked by a player during a video call with Cleveland Indians players that was first reported by The Athletic: What happens if we come back, and a player tests positive?

The league’s answer to that question and others is eagerly anticipated by players whose sense of optimism has grown in the past week. At the same time, multiple officials and players have expressed reservation about negotiating an agreement as the country reopens, fearful that by the time the beginning of June rolls around, the climate for the game to return might not be as welcoming.