Something something pitchers and catchers report in one week something something?
I feel like I’ll be saying this in my sleep for another couple years, but I have to say it again: no deal is finalized. Things aren’t totally wrapped up. There are still issues to be sorted out.
But with respect to the 60-game schedule, the players have indeed informed MLB that they will be ready to hit up Spring Training Part Two in eight days from now:
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
So, yes, this is extremely likely to happen now. But I’ll save my IT’S HAPPENING post for when the health and safety protocols are actually agreed to by both sides. For now, no one expects that’ll actually derail things, but hey, pen-to-paper.
* No pregame exchange of lineup cards
* Social distancing encouraged on field
* Pitchers bring own rosin bag to mound
* Non-playing personnel wear masks in dugout/bullpen at all times
* Spitting prohibited, but chewing gum is allowed
* Fights are strictly prohibited
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) June 23, 2020
The health and safety protocols, by the way, are going to have to be constantly adjusted on the fly in response to what is clearly a still-very-evolving situation in our country. I just want to see extremely frequent testing, and ideally of the rapid variety. That’s going to be your top item to reduce the risk of spread. It would also be nice to see some kind of agreement on a group insurance policy for all players and personnel if they wind up with long-term issues related to a COVID-19 infection.
We’ll keep you posted.