Nearly two months after MLB suspended the start of the 2020 season, the league remains without a definitive timetable for baseball to return. However, with talks ongoing to bring MLB back, a return in July could be possible.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, league officials and players around MLB believe July is the most realistic option for baseball to return this year. While talks are still at the early stages, with May 31 set as a tentative date to create a plan, hopes are for MLB to potentially return in the middle of the summer.
Recent updates on when MLB return, even from commissioner Rob Manfred, haven’t been positive. The league’s discussions for a plan to bring baseball back in Arizona drew mixed reactions from the sports world and players weren’t receptive to being isolated without their families.
Now with talks ongoing between league officials, team owners and players, parties involved are hoping to create a scenario where players have three weeks to prepare for a shortened season. Things could start in June with MLB holding a version of spring training, then the 2020 season would begin in July.
In that best-case scenario, the MLB season would likely be reduced from 162 games to between 100-80 games played from July through October. After the season concluded, there would be an expanded playoff held in neutral sites with a warm climate in November.
There is still confidence in MLB that baseball will be played this season, given the economic impact for everyone involved and for the chance to provide a distraction for fans. As of now, though, it still looks like we’re months away from MLB returning.