The MLBPA announced Tuesday afternoon that they agree to report training camps by the beginning of July in order to play a 60-game season.
The deal is done between MLbPa and Mlb on health and safety protocols. Game on— Karl Ravech (@karlravechespn) June 24, 2020
The season is scheduled to start on July 24, although there is no schedule yet.
The schedule has been sent to the #MLBPA for approval. The teams will play 10 games against opponents in their own division; 20 games against teams in interleague play, sticking to geographic region (AL East vs. NL East…etc). The #Yankees and #Mets will play each other 6 times.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) June 24, 2020
When Spring Training closed on March 12, the San Diego Padres sat in second place in the Cactus League standings. A lot of hype surrounded the team’s hot start, and fans were thinking that 2020 can be the Padres first winning season since 2010.
For a couple of months, it seemed like there could be no MLB season this year, and in part, no Padres baseball. With Tuesday’s agreement, there is at least hope the Padres can have a winning season.
In a 60-game season, anything is possible. As opposed to the 162-game marathon of a normal season, 2020 will be a mad dash with even less room for error. Through 60 games in 2019, the San Diego Padres were 31-29 and playing without Fernando Tatis Jr. After general manager A.J. Preller made several notable additions to the club this offseason, it is possible to see an improvement over last year’s first 60 games.
The playoff picture for 2020 remains unclear. In MLB’s final proposal to the MLBPA, expanded playoffs with 16 teams, 8 teams in the NL and AL, were included. The MLBPA voted 33-5 to reject this proposal. Expanded playoffs certainly help the Padres, as they are not an established contender. Either way, the Padres are built to compete for a playoff spot with expanded playoffs or not.
The final obstacle in the way of a full season are the health and safety of players and team staff. This is the most important factor of the agreement with COVID-19 still active in the United States.
The Korean Baseball Organization is still playing without a player testing positive after over 40 games. Granted, there are only 10 teams in the KBO compared to 30 in Major League Baseball, so keeping the coronavirus out of baseball will be even more challenging in the states. Testing players often will be a big part of this agreement in hopes of limiting the virus’ impact if a player becomes infected.
Over three months following the closure of Spring Training, players and owners are finally in agreement to play baseball in 2020. The process was never pretty, but both sides hope that baseball in 2020 will make up for the delay. The Friar Faithful will get to see the brand new brown jerseys in 2020.