MLBPA Agrees to Play 60-Game 2020 Season

Author:
Updated:
Original:

The Major League Baseball Players Association has agreed to play a 60-game season, the MLBPA announced Tuesday night.

"Major League Baseball is thrilled to announce that the 2020 season is on the horizon," commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. "We have provided the Players Association with a schedule to play 60 games are excited to provide our great fans with Baseball again soon."

Players have agreed to report to training camps by July 1 and MLB announced that opening day, July 23 or 24, will mark the start of the 2020 season. The season is expected to end by September 27. 

The proposed schedule will feature 40 divisional games, with the remaining 20 games coming against teams in the opposite league's corresponding geographical division, per ESPN's Jeff Passan. Other rule changes reportedly include implementing the runner-on-second rule during extra innings and for National League teams to utilize a designated hitter.

According to MLB, the vast majority of clubs are expected to conduct training camps at the ballparks in their home cities.

On Monday, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred decided to proceed with a 60-game season after the MLBPA rejected another of the owners' proposals.

In March, the two sides reached an agreement that would prorate player salaries based on the number of games played. However, the players fought back since MLB owners proposed splitting all revenue for the 2020 season 50-50 between the owners and the players.

According to ESPN, players will receive the full prorated share of their salaries—about 37% of their full-season salaries in the new agreement. The postseason would also remain at 10 teams. 

The league initially set its sights on returning in time for July 4, but that timeline stalled while MLB and the MLBPA negotiated for weeks to reach a possible deal on starting the season.

Shortly after ESPN's initial report, ESPN's Karl Ravech reported that the two parties had also agreed to safety and health protocols related to the return. 

On Friday, the same day that the Philadelphia Phillies closed their training facility in Clearwater, Fla., following the positive coronavirus test results of players and staff members, MLB decided to reportedly close all spring training sites in Arizona and Florida for deep cleanings.

Once the deep cleaning process is completed, players and staff members re-entering the facilities will undergo testing, and won't be permitted inside until they receive a negative test result.