Following weeks of contentious negotiations, MLB is officially back.
Final details have been ironed out between the players and the league, setting the stage for players to report to training camps by July 1 with a 60-game season starting on July 23 or 24 in empty ballparks.
Health and safety protocols were agreed to on Tuesday, three-plus months after spring training was halted because of the coronavirus pandemic.
"All remaining issues have been resolved and players are reporting to training camps," the union tweeted.
All remaining issues have been resolved and Players are reporting to training camps.— MLBPA Communications (@MLBPA_News) June 24, 2020
Each team will play 10 games against each of their four division rivals and four games against each of the five teams in the corresponding division in the other league.
"Major League Baseball is thrilled to announce that the 2020 season is on the horizon," MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said.
"We have provided the Players Association with a schedule to play 60 games and are excited to provide our great fans with baseball again soon."
Players agreed to Manfred's imposed outline for a 60-game 2020 season after owners voted unanimously on Monday to have him mandate a season. The league and players failed to reach an agreement for a 2020 season after weeks of fruitless negotiations and the commissioner had the right to impose a schedule following a deal the two sides made in March.
Under that agreement, players will receive a fully prorated amount of their 2020 salary and accrue a full season of service time. The union had been pushing for a 70-game regular season, which would have allowed players to earn 43.2 per cent of their expected salaries instead of 37 per cent under a 60-game plan.
The 2020 postseason will remain at 10 teams as it has since 2012. The league and the union had agreed on an expansion to 16 teams for both 2020 and 2021 during talks, though Manfred had offered to drop that provision in the most recent proposal.
This season will be played with a universal designated hitter but will not do so in National League games in 2021.
Active rosters will be 30 during the first two weeks of the season, 28 in the second two weeks and then 26 after that.
Because there are no minor leagues, teams will 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.
In the biggest change from traditional baseball, extra innings will start with a runner on second base.
The 60-game schedule will mark MLB's shortest regular season since 1878.
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