Major League Baseball and its players have been in the midst of a labor struggle in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Amid the many twists and turns, conflicting reports have popped up over whether or not we’d get any sort of baseball season, with even MLB commissioner Rob Manfred changing his tune on the certainty with which he believed any games would be played.
But on Tuesday afternoon, a light appeared at the end of the tunnel. According to a report by Jim Bowden of CBS Sports, the MLB Players’ Association informed MLB that its players will play a 60-game schedule, with reporting for spring training occurring on July 1.
#MLBPA has informed #MLB players will report on July 1st for July 24 Opening Day. 60 Game season in 66 days. They are both still working on finalizing safety and health protocols which quite frankly will be something both parties will continue to improve on going forward.
— Jim Bowden (@JimBowdenGM) June 23, 2020
Soon after, Jeff Passan of ESPN and Joel Sherman of the New York Post confirmed the number of games and the reporting date, with all three reporters indicating that the final hurdle that needs to be cleared are the various rules pertaining to health and safety.
The Major League Baseball Players Association has agreed to report to training camps by July 1 and play a 60-game season, sources tell ESPN, but deal is not finalized yet.
One last health-and-safety hurdle to get over and Major League Baseball will be back a week from tomorrow.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 23, 2020
Source: union has informed MLB plan is for players to be in spring training by 7/1 and play the 60-g season, both proposed by MLB. Sides have NOT finalized health/safety protocols, but working on it.
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) June 23, 2020
Of course, health and safety is incredible important during a global pandemic, so this is a pretty big hurdle to have to clear, particularly considering what happened with the Phillies and Blue Jays recently. A number of the details here are still up in the air, too, whether it’s financial stuff like how much money players will make or where games will take place. All of those should fall into place soon enough, though, and while this situation has proven that you should not count your chickens before they’ve hatched, it appears Major League Baseball is on track to have some sort of season that begins relatively soon.