- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Baseball players want owners to hold off on approving a detailed plan for how to expand the playoffs until after the sides can negotiate over the addition of two more wild-card teams.

Union head Michael Weiner consulted with his members this week during his executive board’s annual meeting, which is being held in Orlando, Fla.

“Coming out of our meeting, it’s our sense that the most productive way to proceed on this topic would be for the parties to engage in discussions before settling on any specific proposals,” Weiner said Wednesday during a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

Commissioner Bud Selig said following an owners’ meeting in mid-November that his special 14-man committee will discuss adding two wild-card teams when it meets Dec. 7 during the winter meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Players have said they are open to the extra round, more likely to be added for 2012 than next year. Rob Manfred, MLB’s executive vice president for labor relations, said the change would be “a difficult trick to pull off” for 2011 because it would have to be a modification of the current labor contract, which runs through next season.

“The players talked about various aspects of the regular season and postseason schedule,” Weiner said. “We considered many different scenarios _ both changes and the status quo. The discussion covered all of the factors involved with scheduling, mainly competitive considerations, revenue generation and demands on players. We look forward to engaging in discussions with the owners on these topics.”

To expand the playoffs, the sides would have to agree on whether the new wild-card round would be single elimination or best-of-three. They also would have to renegotiate the formula for the postseason pool that is split up among players and figure out how to slot more postseason games into a schedule that has spilled into November in recent seasons.

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