After months of negotiations between the MLB and MLBPA, the two groups have come to terms that will see professional baseball hit the diamonds in late July.
The MLBPA informed the league Tuesday they will agree with commissioner Rob Manfred’s imposed outline for a 2020 season. An adjusted Spring Training is set to take place on July 1, with a 60-game schedule starting on either July 23 or 24.
One of the biggest hurdles in solidifying an agreement was the health and safety of the players and employees of their respective teams. Discussions halted due to disagreements on the number of games, salary, and other financial details for the players and teams.
The season is set to be played in front of no fans and it isn’t confirmed where the games will be played. Details should surface if the MLB is looking to have hubs like the NHL and NBA.
High-risk individuals are allowed to opt-out of playing and still receive salary and service time. However, others who sit out get neither money nor service credit for free agency and salary arbitration.
While the season will be collapsed into 60-games, the league will still hold a trade deadline, set to be on August 31. Teams can start making trades as early as Friday, as rosters will no longer be frozen.
Teams will not have their usual minor league affiliations with them, so teams will be allowed to retain 60 players each, which includes a taxi squad.
The regular season is set to end in late September, which leaves little room for potential rainouts or other delays. The league would like to complete the World Series in October, avoiding any second wave of COVID-19.
As news broke about the league and players association reaching an agreement, so did news about baseball players and employees testing positive for Coronavirus.
The Philadelphia Phillies announced that two players and two staff members have tested positive for the virus, which brings up their total cases to 12. This comes after the league shut down all 30 spring training sites in Florida and Arizona. Members of the Colorado Rockies have also tested positive for COVID-19, including Charlie Blackmon.
Players report in one-week to their respective teams, which should take place in their own cities as opposed to facilities in Florida or Arizona.
Fans, employees, and members of baseball all wait in anticipation of starting the season in July.