It’s unclear whether Major League Baseball will be able to play a full 162-game schedule if and when the 2020 season begins. But there is some clarity on how to salvage most of the year.
The MLB season is on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. Opening Day, which was supposed to be Thursday, was postponed indefinitely while healthcare workers work to get the virus under control. But the league and MLB Players Association met Thursday night in order to reach an agreement regarding the 2020 campaign.
And according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, it all was worked out and will be voted on Friday.
“The deal includes a commitment from MLB and the players to play as close to a full regular-season schedule as possible, with games in October and a postseason in November, providing the COVID-19 crisis dissipates and permits them to even start a season,” Nightengale reported.
The hope is to be able to play “at least 100 games” with “weekly double-headers” through October.
A report surfaced Wednesday regarding soon-to-be free agents and how their contracts would be handled should the season be cancelled. Players like Mookie Betts, George Springer, J.T. Realmuto, Trevor Bauer and all others with contracts set to expire at the end of the season, all reportedly would be granted a full year of service time and be able to test the free agent market regardless of how many games get played.
And according to Nightengale, that will be the case.
“The biggest issue in the negotiations was service time, and the two sides agreed that if there’s a season of any length, players would receive credit for a full year as if it was a regular 162-game season. And if the season is canceled, players will receive the same service time they accrued in 2019,” he wrote.
So in theory, it’s possible Betts, who was traded from the Boston Red Sox to the Los Angeles Dodgers in February, never could play a game for his new team before becoming a free agent.
But we want baseball back as soon as its deemed safe.
Source:: NESN.com – MLB