MLB has revealed its 2020 campaign plans with a shortened 60-game regular season, which will begin on 23 July.
Discussions over the season proposal were concluded earlier this week via a unanimous vote by the league’s 30 clubs over the terms of MLB and the MLB Players Association’s 26 match agreement.
The biggest hurdle between the MLB and its player association has been over player wages, regulations and allowances. However, the players association tweeted on Tuesday that ‘all remaining issues have been resolved and players are reporting to training camps’.
As part of the agreement, players will be paid their full salary in proportion to the reduced 2020 campaign, with a usual regular-season consisting of 162 fixtures. It means that players will receive approximately 37% of their expected 2020 wages for the full season. It is understood that players will report for training for the 2020 season on 1 July.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred stated: “Major League Baseball is thrilled to announce that the 2020 season is on the horizon. We have provided the Players Association with a schedule to play 60 games and are excited to provide our great fans with baseball again soon.”
In order to mitigate the risk of COVID-19, players will undergo testing upon arrival to training, with athletes, coaches and support staff also tested for the virus every other day during training, the regular season and postseason.
Additionally, new rules have been proposed in order to accommodate the new campaign. These include opening the season with a 30-man roster before reducing it to 26 after four weeks, the Trade Deadline moving to 31 August, a 10-day injured list (IL) for both pitchers and hitters, with the 60-day IL being reduced to 45-days, and the introduction of a IL for coronavirus cases among other new rules.
The proposed 60-game season has been submitted for review by the Players Association, however, there aren’t expected to be any hurdles with regards to agreeing on the terms. The new schedule will attempt to mitigate the risk of travel by including 10 games for each team against its four divisional opponents. MLB clubs will also play 20 games against the opposite league’s corresponding division.
Moreover, the majority of MLB teams will train in the clubs’ Major League ballparks, due to recent spikes of COVID-19 in both Florida and Arizona which has caused all 30 spring facilities to be shut down.