Rejoice baseball fans, baseball is back.
Major League Baseball and the Player’s union finally reached an agreement on Tuesday night as players will report to their team stadiums on July 1 for an abbreviated Spring Training. The league then plans to host opening day on either July 23rd or 24th. SO we are going to have baseball after all.
Here is the statement that was released Tuesday night:
The health and safety of players and employees will remain MLB’s foremost priorities in its return to play. MLB is working with a variety of public health experts, infectious disease specialists and technology providers on a comprehensive approach that aims to facilitate a safe return.
MLB has submitted a 60-game regular season schedule for review by the Players Association. The proposed schedule will largely feature divisional play, with the remaining portion of each Club’s games against their opposite league’s corresponding geographical division (i.e., East vs. East, Central vs. Central and West vs. West), in order to mitigate travel. The vast majority of Major League Clubs are expected to conduct training at the ballparks in their primary home cities.
Commissioner Manfred said: “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.”
But with this shortened 60 game season, there will be some changes.
Each team will play their divisional opponents 10 times each in the season, plus play cross league opponents four times each. The NL Central and AL Central will matchup meaning we get the Cubs and White Sox four times this year.
The DH will also be used in both leagues, which is very interesting especially for a team like the Cubs that can use Kyle Schwarber in that spot.
Here’s a look at the other changes:
- The league’s transactions freeze will end Friday at noon ET, though it’s still debating whether to let teams sign players to minor league contracts.
- Teams must submit their 60-player pool by 3 ET on Sunday, and they’ll be able to take three taxi squad players on the road, though one has to be a catcher. All 60 of those players will be invited to spring training, but clubs will have the option of sending 20 to alternate sites.
- Players have to be added to the big league roster by Sept. 15 to be eligible for the postseason.
- Even though teams won’t have to invite all players on their 40-man rosters to spring training, they’ll still have to be paid.
- MLB has been talking with Nashville about keeping two teams of unsigned players there as an emergency pool. Those players would make $400 per week, and teams would have to pay a fee to Nashville to sign any of them.
- COVID specific inactive list
- Spitting is prohibited
- In extra innings, each team will start with a runner on second
Plenty more will be coming out over the next few days but it’s good to have baseball back and late July can’t get here soon enough.