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Not quite "spring" training: MLB returns with a 60-game shortened season

(CBS Sports)

The MLB and MLBPA reached an agreement on June 23, to play a 60-game season with players reporting for a second spring training on July 1, with the season commencing on July 23 or 24.

The agreement comes after many failed negotiations between the MLB and MLBPA. This deal was originally proposed by the MLB back in March but was rejected by the Player’s Association.

In the 60-game season, teams will play 10 games against each divisional rival and then four games against each team in the same region of the opposite league.

Depending on how this pandemic progresses it is possible that we might see fans at the ball games, but as of right now the MLB and MLBPA have decided in their deal that no fans shall be in attendance.

A few new regulations and rule changes will be implemented this season to make sure that the players and coaching staff stay safe.

The new COVID-19 precautionary rules will include; players and personnel being tested for the virus every other day, players will get their temperature/symptoms checked twice per day, anyone not participating in the game including coaching staff and team members will sit in the stands at least six feet apart, antibody testing will be conducted once per month, an additional COVID-19 injured list will be added and finally, if any player tests positive for the novel Coronavirus, they can only return to play after they test negative twice.

Other than the COVID-19 regulations, the MLB has changed a few additional rules. For the first time ever there will be a universal DH. This means that there will be no more pitchers hitting in NL games.

The MLB have also decided that in the event of an extra-inning game, the teams will place a runner on second to start the inning. This rule will only be in order for the 60-game season and will revert to normal in the postseason. 

These rule changes are mainly targeted at speeding up the game. This will be the shortest MLB season since 1877, where they had 12 games against five opponents.

For the 2020 season, players will be making prorated salaries. According to CBS Sports, the players will receive 37 per cent of their regular 162-game salary, since 60 games is only 37 per cent of the season. This will see the highest-paid player, Mike Trout, making $14 million instead of $37.7 million. 

In the deals’ current state, the post-season will remain with only 10 teams. It is possible that we see the MLB decide to increase that number to 16; eight in the AL and eight in the NL.

The 2020 MLB season will be like no other season to date. With a different kind of schedule and not playing as many games, we could see a few underdogs flying into the playoffs this season.


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