MLB Players Confirm Deal Reached on 2020 Season; Will Report to Spring Training July 1

John Healy
June 24, 2020 - 9:56 am

There will officially be baseball in 2020.

The Major League Baseball Players' Association and league owners agreed to a deal on health and safety protocols Tuesday night, ensuring there will be a 60-game MLB regular season, per ESPN's Karl Ravech.

The MLBPA confirmed a deal was done with a statement on Twitter.

All players have been asked to stagger their report dates to spring training — which will be held in each teams' primary home cities — in order to avoid everyone arriving at once, but players must report by July 1, according RADIO.COM's MLB insider Bob Nightengale.

Spring training will begin July 3 while the season will begin July 24 and run until Sept. 27 and include 40 divisional games and 20 interleague games with their geographic counterpart.

Nightengale added that the deal includes all players the ability to opt out of the season and still be paid service time. This is different from previously where it was only high-risk players.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred also released a statement:

"Major League Baseball is thrilled to announce the 2020 season is on the horizon," he said. "We have provided the Players Association with a schedule of 60 games and are excited to provide our great fans with Baseball again soon."

Earlier on Tuesday, there were several reports of the different health-and-safety rules that were being discussed, including pitchers keeping a wet towel in their pocket to replace licking their fingers.

Other rules that have been improved include the implementation of a universal designated hitter as well as placing a runner on second base in extra innings in an attempt to expedite extra innings and avoid teams taxing their rosters in an abbreviated season.

While the players’ union and league owners spent weeks in a contentious labor dispute, the safety protocols to combat COVID-19 — which has seen a spike in some states around the country — remains the biggest challenge.

The Philadelphia Phillies reported two more players tested positive for coronavirus on Tuesday following the eight members – five players, three staff – of the organization who tested positive over the weekend, which spurred MLB to shutdown its spring training facilities in Arizona and Florida.

In addition to baseball, other sports are dealing with similar issues. NBA star Nikola Jokic tested positive for coronavirus on Tuesday while the NFLPA warned players to stop holding workout sessions with teammates.

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