The Major League Baseball Players Association responded late Thursday afternoon to the league’s proposed medical and safety protocols for opening the 2020 season amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, a union official confirmed.

“The union has spent the past several days carefully reviewing the manual and gathering feedback from its medical experts and players across the league, including a 31/2-hour video conference with 100-plus player leaders on Monday night,” the official said.

The union’s response to MLB was described as “wide-ranging,” with questions, suggestions and requests for clarification on issues such as testing frequency, protocols for positive tests, the presence of on-site medical personnel, protections for high-risk players and family members, access to pre- and postgame therapies and sanitization protocols.

The league sent its original proposal, a highly detailed, 67-page manual that covered issues such as testing, social-distancing guidelines and risk mitigation, on Friday.

Baseball hopes to open its season around July 4, preceded by a roughly three-week “spring training 2.0” beginning in mid-June, which gives the sides until roughly the first week of June to reach an agreement. The sport hopes to play in as many teams’ home stadiums as possible, with no fans present at least in the early stages.

The MLBPA began disseminating the document to its 1,200 members shortly after receiving it, commissioning a Spanish-language version for its Latin American players, and consulted with its own set of medical experts.

Players viewed many of the concepts in the original draft as over-the-top, such as arriving in uniform at the ballparks, a prohibition on them leaving without team permission and a ban on guests other than immediate family members. Players also objected to a ban on the use of showers and hydrotherapy.

The union wants more frequent testing than management’s proposed “multiple times per week.”

MLB is expected to make an economic proposal to the union within a few days.

CUTS: The Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates are trimming payroll while they await word on the fate of the season.

The Cubs are instituting pay cuts because of the coronavirus crisis, but there will be no furloughs through the end of June. The Pirates announced they are instituting furloughs for several employees in business operations beginning on June 1.

Chicago’s cuts were based on compensation, a person with direct knowledge of the situation said. President of baseball operations Theo Epstein and president of business operations Crane Kenney took the highest reductions.

The person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, says 80% of associates are taking a pay cut of 20% or less.

The St. Louis Cardinals and Minnesota Twins have informed their employees there won’t be any pays cuts or furloughs through the end of June.

RAYS: Pitching prospect Brent Honeywell had a decompression procedure on his right ulnar nerve and is set to begin strength and mobility exercises.

Dodgers head team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache performed the procedure on the 25-year-old right-hander in Los Angeles on Wednesday, working with Dr. Steven Shin to remove scar tissue from the area of the nerve.

Honeywell, who hasn’t pitched in the minors since September 2017, is scheduled to start exercises on Monday at the Rays’ spring training complex in Port Charlotte.

Honeywell was among Tampa Bay’s top prospects after going 13-9 with a 3.49 ERA in 26 starts for Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham in 2017.

He missed the following season after Tommy John surgery during spring training. He sat out 2019 after an operation last June to repair a right elbow fracture.

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