Multiple sources are reporting that the MLB Players Association has agreed in principle to Rob Manfred’s 60-game season. This would involve players reporting on July 1, with contests scheduled to start somewhere between July 24-26. There is still work to be done between the two sides, on working out the (very) necessary health and safety protocols. But considering what we’ve been through over the last few weeks, those seem like relatively trivial considerations - even if COVID-19 still poses a real and significant threat to the plan.
What kind of season it will be, remains to be seen. There will certainly be a slew of changes from what we have seen in previous years, including but probably not limited to:
- Implementation of DH in both leagues
- Extra innings in the regular season will start with a runner on second base
- Initially, teams can have a 30-man roster on Opening Day, shrinking to 28 on Day #15, and then the new normal of 26 on Day #29
- Trade deadline will be August 31, rather than July 31
- Pitchers can have a wet rag in their pocket as substitute for licking fingers
- The new three-batter minimum for relief pitchers will still be in effect.
- Games that don’t complete five innings due to weather can be continued at a later date, rather than being restarted.
But at least it looks likely there will now be baseball of some sort in 2020. I’m off to bet on the Marlins winning it all. :)