Major League Baseball is expected to send a proposal for the 2020 season to start to players some time in the next week.
According to multiple media reports, the plan is for a second round of Spring Training to get going in mid June with a target date of July 1 for the start of the regular season. Whether these plans are realistic remains to be seen amid the current reality of the COVID-19 pandemic remains to be seen.
What we do know is that teams are now telling players to get back into shape and prepare for the start of the season.
“General managers and managers from at least a dozen teams have reached out to players and suggested they ramp up baseball activities, executives, players and agents familiar with the conversations told ESPN. Some teams have suggested players prepare for a spring training that would begin as early as June 10 and a season that would begin July 1,” ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported on Wednesday.
As the report notes, there’s still a number of significant hurdles to overcome. While other plans included playing solely in Arizona or in just a few states, this plan includes teams playing in their home venues.
That’s a complicated idea given the differences between regions as it relates to percentage of people infected by the COVID-19 virus.
What would happen if a player tests positive for the virus after a road trip to a city more impacted by the pandemic? How would MLB respond?
Equally as important, rapid COVID-19 testing needs to be available. Major League Baseball has in the past noted that it will not test players at a high clip until said tests are readily available for the general public.
Either way, it seems the wheels are in motion for the 2020 Major League Baseball season to get going in less than two months. In a vacuum, that’s a good thing.