Commissioner Rob Manfred and the league’s 30 owners made the move to impose a 60-game Major League Baseball yesterday, moving forward under the terms of the March agreement with the Players’ Association after nearly three months of seeking additional salary reductions under the prorated payouts that were originally agreed to. The league gave the union a firm 4:00 pm central deadline today to say whether or not they’d be able to report by July 1st, and if they’d agree to the health protocols laid out by MLB.
And...that deadline was not met, at least not publicly. But about an hour after the supposed deadline came and went, Jeff Passan reported that the players had agreed to begin Spring Training 2.0 in eight days.
The Major League Baseball Players Association has agreed to report to training camps by July 1 and play a 60-game season, sources tell ESPN, but deal is not finalized yet.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 23, 2020
One last health-and-safety hurdle to get over and Major League Baseball will be back a week from tomorrow.
The league and players still have to come to an agreement on health protocols regarding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but the belief if that it won’t be much of an obstacle at this point and that it will be a “living document” that evolves as new information and practices for containing the coronavirus emerge.
Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com has a rundown of what the 2020 season may look like, including the transaction freeze ending 5 days before Spring Training, temperature/symptom checks twice per day, COVID-19 tests every other day, antibody testing about once per month, high-risk players being able to opt out of the season, no pregame lineup card exchanges, pitchers bringing their own rosin bags, a prohibition of spitting, a universal DH, and extra innings starting with a runner on second base, and an August 31st trade deadline, among several others.
So...the ink isn’t officially dry on a deal just yet. But the way things are trending, there will indeed be a 60-game MLB season in 2020, with players reporting to camp in eight days and the games that count beginning in about a month. The union also retains the right to file a grievance against the owners regarding the negotiations that took place over the last three months.
Everything is worked out. Game on.
All remaining issues have been resolved and Players are reporting to training camps.— MLBPA Communications (@MLBPA_News) June 24, 2020