Major League Baseball is expected to send its proposal on when the 2020 season will start to the MLB Players' Association within a week's time, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
At least a dozen teams have suggested to players that they "ramp up" baseball activities, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan, in preparation for a second spring training that could begin in mid-June. That could position MLB to begin its season in early July. Other teams, however, have offered a more general timetable for when the season could start.
On Tuesday, Rosenthal reported that a plan for the start of the season had yet to be finalized, with so many unknown factors to consider. The report mentioned a tweet from Trevor Plouffe, a former major leaguer who spent nine years in the league, that said the 2020 season was set to begin on July 1 at teams' home ballparks.
According to Rosenthal, at least one team—the Cleveland Indians—has told its players to mark July 1 as a potential Opening Day, with a second spring training slated to begin on June 10. Rosenthal clarified those dates as "mere targets" that were expected to change.
Though it's unclear what the league's proposal will contain, there appears to be a consensus that there will be an MLB season this year in some in form. A chief concern at the moment is being able to identify potential hotspots around the country, where outbreaks of the coronavirus could appear as states slowly begin to open up.
"League and club officials remain confident the sport will return in 2020, but a number of team executives were fretting Tuesday over the possibility of outbreaks of the virus in states starting to open up, such as Florida, Texas and Arizona, which often are mentioned as potential hubs in various startup plans," Rosenthal said. "New surges might lead to additional shutdowns, making it difficult for baseball to resume."
The league would prefer to host games in as many home cities as possible, favoring that option over sending teams to hubs, such as spring training sites in Arizona or Florida. Sending all 30 teams to one location, an option once considered among the most feasible, is now viewed as the "least desirable," per Rosenthal.