Well, it’s finally official. There will be baseball in 2020. The wheels are in motion for the 2020 MLB season, and here is everything you need to know.
Without a Deal
Needless to say, we got baseball the hard way. A long string of proposals and counter-proposals between the owners and the players yielded nothing. In the end, Commissioner Rob Manfred exercised his right to begin the season based on the agreement the league and the union made in March after the season was suspended.
On Monday, the league officially imposed a season with players receiving full prorated salaries. On Tuesday, the players agreed to the health and safety protocols and agreed to report to spring training on July 1. With that, the 2020 MLB season has been officially scheduled.
Terms and Conditions
When the revised schedule comes out, it will consist of 60 games with Opening Day tentatively set for either July 23 or 24. Teams will play 10 games against each of their four intra-divisional foes and four games against each of their interleague opponents from the same division. That means the AL East teams will play the NL East teams four times each, and the same for the AL Central vs. the NL Central, and the AL West vs. the NL West.
As expected, the designated hitter will be adopted by the National League for the 2020 season as a way to protect the health of the pitchers. Teams will have a roster of 30 players for the first two weeks of the season. Rosters will be cut down to 28 for the next two weeks and then cut down to 26 for the rest of the season.
Teams will also have a taxi squad that can hold up to 60 players. The season will include a trade deadline on August 31. Finally, when games go to extra innings, each inning will begin with a runner on second base.
Of course, testing players and staff for COVID-19 is an important part of baseball being able to return. With seven Phillies players and three Rockies testing positive in recent days, there is renewed concern about a potential outbreak happening within a clubhouse.
According to the health and safety protocol, players will be tested every other day regardless of whether or not they are exhibiting symptoms. There will be a special COVID-19 injured list that will have no minimum or maximum stay.
Also, players with preexisting conditions that are at high risk for the virus will be able to sit out the season and still receive pay. Players who aren’t at high risk can still sit out if they wish but will forfeit their salary.
A Few Weeks Away
As mentioned, players will have to check-in for the second round of spring training by July 1. Most teams will be holding spring training workouts at their home stadium, although the Blue Jays have not yet been cleared to play in Toronto.
Starting Friday, the freeze on rosters will end, allowing teams to sign free agents and make trades. Yasiel Puig remains one of the few notable free agents who could sign with a team before the season. When the season finally gets underway, each team will play 60 games in 66 days, which will be followed by a 10-team postseason.
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