UNITED STATES—MLB owners voted unanimously on Monday, June 22, to have MLB officials led by Commissioner Rob Manfred implement a 2020 season of their choosing. The agreement to play a shortened 60 game season was approved by the players union on Tuesday, June 23, however they are still discussing health and safety protocols with league officials.
On July 1, all MLB players will reconvene for Spring Training. The season would then start around July 24th, with players making sure to follow the league’s health protocols. Players will earn the full prorated share of their salaries, which will be about 37% of what they would make if they played a full 162 game season.
However, the two sides’ failure to agree on a proposal to restart the season means that there will be no expanded playoffs this year. According to a statement from MLB, this agreement would also have included a universal designated hitter for the next two years, a guaranteed $25 million in the 2020 playoff pool, and salary increases for 61% of MLB players.
Many MLB players like San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford just want to get back to playing, saying ‘when and where’. In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Crawford said, “I don’t think us being ready by the 1st will be an issue.”
Nevertheless, questions remain as to whether the 2020 season will be played during the Coronavirus pandemic. The fact that many players and staff members at numerous teams’ training facilities have tested positive for COVID-19 highlights the risk of currently playing baseball.