Major League Baseball owners and players finally came to terms Tuesday night on a truncated 2020 baseball season, with spring training for players set to begin July 1.
The MLB Players Union and the owners ironed out plans Tuesday night to launch a 60-game season with specific health and safety protocols, according to ESPN. The agreement comes after league owners Monday voted unanimously to have MLB commissioner Rob Manfred impose the 60-game schedule following contentious negotiations between the two parties on how best to re-format a traditional 162-game season after the start of the 2020 campaign was suspended in March due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The regular season is expected to debut in late July with teams playing 60 regular-season games through Sept. 27 and a 10-team post-season beginning in October.
While terms for baseball’s return are set, the onerous COVID-19 still looms over the start of the season. With cases spiking in states such as Arizona and Florida — MLB has already shut down all spring training complexes in both states — there’s growing concern among some industry observers that the virus could alter plans for the upcoming season.
The Philadelphia Phillies reported Tuesday that at least 12 members of its organization — including seven players — have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to NBCSports.com.
Nevertheless, baseball now joins other sports leagues such as the NBA, NHL, MLS and NWSL in returning to live play in July.