There are plenty of questions surrounding Major League Baseball in light of the coronavirus pandemic, but it appears that some answers are starting to come.
The Major League Baseball Players Association and Major League Baseball agreed to a deal on Thursday that will solve many of the questions that have come from the work stoppage. MLB owners are expected to approve the deal on Friday, while players around the league have already voted on the issue.
The 2021 international signing period and the length of the 2020 Major League Baseball Draft were two of the main points in these negotiations. Under this new deal, Major League Baseball can extend the start of the international signing period until January 2021.
The 2020 MLB Draft can also be shortened to just five rounds if that is what the league chooses to do.
The deal also discusses what is being called a “doomsday scenario.” This situation will occur if no games are played during the 2020 Major League Baseball season.
Under the agreement, all players would accrue a year of service time, which will send them into free agency without playing a single game. The league is hoping to avoid this scenario, but it is on the table as a possibility.
Manfred Writes Letter to Fans
Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred wrote a letter to baseball fans across the United States. The letter was released on Thursday morning, on what was supposed to be Opening Day of the 2020 season for all 30 Major League Baseball teams.
The letter was an effort to boost spirits and raise morale across the country, and also to outline the potential ways that fans could watch some baseball on what was called, “Opening Day at Home.”
Major League Baseball made many games free for fans to enjoy in light of watching their teams play in their season openers. Games could be streamed on YouTube, MLB.TV and MLB.com. “Opening Day at Home” also gives fans a chance to enjoy one of the most memorable games in club history.
Manfred has also promised that baseball will be a way to bring the nation together and help the country heal from the coronavirus pandemic. Major League Baseball was a huge part of the healing process during the tragedy that took place on September 11, 2001.
World Series on Christmas Day?
Major League Baseball is working through several scenarios once the season is set to resume, but agent Scott Boras made his own proposal to the league. Boras has proposed a scenario in which the league can play all 162 games of their regular season, with a new playoff format.
The catch is that the World Series would be played at the end of December, with one of the games being played on Christmas Day. Playoff games would have to be played at neutral sites in locations that have domed stadiums.
Major League Baseball has yet to respond to the proposal from Boras, but he represents some of the most powerful players in the league.
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