Baseball fans who have been wondering whether MLB will return in 2020 got their answer this evening. After the MLBPA rejected the league’s 60-game proposal in a 33-5 vote earlier —a proposal that included expanded playoffs and the universal DH in 2020—the owners voted unanimously in a conference call with Rob Manfred to have the commissioner impose a season.
In a statement released by MLB following the call, the league affirmed that, “In view of this rejection, the MLB Clubs have unanimously voted to proceed with the 2020 season under the terms of the March 26th agreement. The provisions listed above will not be operative.” That list includes universal DH for two years, a guaranteed $25 million in playoff pools in 2020, and expanded Postseason over the next two seasons.
The league also requested that the MLBPA confirm whether players can report to camp by July 1 and whether they will agree to the Operating Manual, which contains the health and safety protocols needed to proceed with the season. The health and safety protocols are still an important hurdle for the league and players to clear, especially given that the coronavirus pandemic is still very much a problem in the United States.
While the season length and schedule has not been set, it will likely be around 60 games and will begin around July 24. With the owners adamant about wanting to end the regular season by September 27, that gives them 65 days to complete 60 games before the Postseason. When the Mets do eventually report to camp again, they will come to Citi Field rather than travel down to Florida. With today’s news, the negotiations, which have been contentious from the start, have officially come to a close.