Baseball remains in limbo, but every day we get a little closer to answering the question of if and when the season will start. Let’s check out the latest.
This Is Happening, Maybe
While there is no start date or definite plan, there is growing optimism that there will be a 2020 MLB season in some form or another. With a few states planning to start lifting restrictions and opening up their economy, there could be close to 10 clubs capable of hosting games at their home stadium, albeit without fans in attendance.
Even New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, whose state has been hit the hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, says he could envision the Mets and Yankees playing games at their home stadiums in New York City at some point in 2020. At the moment, everything depends on testing, as MLB would have to test players and other team personnel regularly without taking away from public testing.
However, depending on testing and how things play out with the states that are hoping to re-open soon, MLB may be able to have a plan in place by the end of May.
One More Hurdle
While there is incentive for all parties to find a way to play the 2020 season, there are lingering reports of a divide between the owners and the players’ union over the finances for an abbreviated season.
Owners believe that without gate receipts, there will be a significant hit financially that will necessitate players taking a pay cut beyond agreeing to a pro-rated salary based on the number of games. However, union chief Tony Clark has drawn a line in the sand, which has some worried that a financial agreement could hold up the season even if the practical logistics are worked out.
He Might Be a Giant
For all intents and purposes, the only notable free agent who didn’t sign with a new team before spring training was suspended in March was outfielder Yasiel Puig. The Cuban native is reportedly close to a one-year deal with the Giants after spending most of his career with the Dodgers.
Puig previously expressed doubts about baseball returning in 2020 and indicated that he wouldn’t sign with any team until he knew there would be a season. The deal isn’t official, but with reports indicating that the two sides are close to an agreement, it’s a good sign that Puig is now confident that there will be a season this year.
The delay in the season could end up being a blessing for two-way star Shohei Ohtani, who didn’t pitch in 2019 while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Ohtani wouldn’t have been pitching in April or May, but with the season starting no sooner than June, he might be ready to go when the season eventually starts.
Angels GM Billy Eppler says Ohtani is throwing two bullpen sessions every week, tossing 35-50 pitches at 80-85% effort. The next logical step for Ohtani would be facing hitters, which isn’t realistic at this time. But when teams are allowed to play, Ohtani should have the green light to serve as both pitcher and designated hitter.
Check Out Other Related Posts on 4Flush
100% up to $3,000 Bonus
Bovada is our most recommended ONLINE CASINO and POKER ROOM for US players with excellent deposit options. Get your 100% signup bonus today.