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MLB Reportedly Implements 60 Game Season For 2020

(Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

The Players Association has been asked if they can report to Spring Training by July 1st and sign off on health and safety protocols

The horrific saga of negotiations between Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association appears to be over.

According to multiple reports, after the Players Association voted against the most recent proposal by the MLB, Commissioner Rob Manfred informed clubs that a 60-game season beginning around July 24th will be implemented based upon a March agreement between both parties.

Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported that the Players Association has to agree to a few things to ensure the season begins by late July:

  • Agree to health and safety protocols put forward by the MLB
  • Agree to show up for Spring Training 2.0 next Wednesday, July 1st
  • Begin season around July 24th weekend

On whether the Players Association will back the proposed timeframe and health protocls, ESPN insider Jeff Passan shared optimism that this process will in all likelihood be put behind both parties:

Major League Baseball could have imposed a shorter schedule, opting for the rumored 48-game schedule that was shared amongst insiders during negotiations.

Per Heyman, the MLB ‘did the right thing’ by sticking to their originally proposed number of 60 games, which will still be the shortest season in the league’s 117 year history.

With the proposed deal falling apart and the season being played based upon the principles of a March 26th agreement, here are some things to know for 2020 per Heyman:

  • Word is owners are indeed ready to allow the universal DH this season for preserving player health but not in 2021. That assumes the sides sign off on all health/safety protocols.
  • This year, the MLB is planning to use the Minor League extra-innings rule: With the runner on second to start the inning, expediting the process of extra-inning games ending. Since the spring will be short, the schedule will be tight and there’s a desire to avoid 15-inning games and longer.
  • MLBPA can still file a grievance against the MLB following the season.

Joel Sherman of the New York post also reported that the players will be receiving their full prorated salaries over the 60-game season.

Of course, both sides have one common enemy in this entire process: COVID-19. The coronavirus cases have suddenly surged across the country, even within the MLB family as Heyman reported that the virus had made its way into Spring Training sites:

The assurance of safety among the players and team personnel will reign supreme this season. There might be 60 games and a full postseason or there could be 20 games before a surge in cases forces the league to shutdown.

Safety and health protocols set forth by the league will need to be literally airtight, ensuring the safety and peace of mind of the MLBPA.

Baseball is near, but until the T’s get crossed and the I’s are dotted by both sides, baseball fans will eagerly await the official announcement that Major League Baseball will be played in 2020.