HOUSTON – Baseball is back!
The Major League Baseball Players Association and the league finalized the details for a 60-game season Tuesday with players reporting to camps by July 1 and the season begining by July 24.
After several months of negotiations, the players’ union agreed to the terms laid out by MLB and signed off on the final hurdle of agreeing to health and safety protocols amid the COVID-19 pandemic Tuesday evening, they announced on Twitter.
“All remaining issues have been resolved and Players are reporting to training camps,” the MLBPA tweeted Tuesday.
All remaining issues have been resolved and Players are reporting to training camps.— MLBPA Communications (@MLBPA_News) June 24, 2020
The 60-game 2020 season is expected to begin on July 24 and end on Sept. 27. This will be the shortest season since the 1878 National League season.
Each team will play 10 games against each of its four division rivals and four games vs. each of the five clubs in the corresponding division in the other league, according to details obtained by The Associated Press.
In a twist, the sides expanded the designated hitter to games involving National League teams and instituted the radical innovation of starting extra innings with a runner on second base.
The number of playoff teams will remain at 10, though that still could change.
The trade deadline will be Aug. 31 and the deadline for postseason eligibility is Sept. 15.
Active rosters will be 30 during the first two weeks of the season, 28 during the second two weeks and 26 after that. They will not expand to 28 on Sept. 1, as originally intended this year.
With no minor leagues, teams would be allowed to retain 60 players each, including a taxi squad. Up to three players from the taxi squad can travel with a team to a game, and one of the three must be a catcher.
MLB is keeping the innovation of the three-batter minimum for pitchers, but decided to keep the injured list minimum for pitchers at 10 days rather than revert to 15, as initially intended. But the new rule remains in place that a pitcher must face at least three batters or finish the half inning.