Baseball is back, but it’ll take a little while for players to get back into game shape.
Major League Baseball and the Players’ Association on Tuesday agreed to a deal the will feature a 60-game schedule and revised health and safety protocols, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan. The MLBPA later confirmed the deal on Twitter.
Earlier in the day, players agreed to report to training camp by July 1. And with Opening Day expected to take place July 23 or 24, per Passan, players will have roughly one month to prepare for the abbreviated 2020 season.
MLB is expected to implement a three-phase training plan when it officially announces the deal, according to MassLive’s Chris Cotillo. The plan will begin July 1 and end with Opening Day.
In Phase 1, players reportedly will divide into small groups and assigned times and areas of the complex for their respective workouts. Phase 2 will allow players to work out in larger group workouts, and possibly even team workouts. Intrasquad games likely will be allowed, too.
In Phase 3, teams will begin participating in a “limited number” of exhibition games against other clubs, per Cotillo. MLB will ask teams to allow umpires to attend workouts so they can practice tracking pitches.
All employees reportedly will be subject to “in-depth screening” when they first arrive at camp, too.
Phase 1: Players divided into small groups (5ish), and assigned times and areas of the complex
Phase 2: Larger group workouts, intrasquad games permitted
Phase 3: Limited # of exhibition games
MLB asking teams to allow umpires to come to workouts to get reps tracking pitches https://t.co/I49hiySyQP
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) June 24, 2020