Owners approve 2020 MLB start plan with early-July Opening Day

MLB lockout
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

The first step of Major League Baseball’s return in 2020 is complete. 

On a conference call on Monday, team owners approved the league’s proposal to start the regular season, as first reported by Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic 

The proposal will now be sent to the Major League Players Association (MLBPA) on Tuesday for approval. 

While the coronavirus pandemic will continue to create uncertainty around the resumption of sports, the plan, for now, is that there will be a mid-June spring training to ramp players up for a truncated regular season, which will begin in early July. 

Per earlier reports, the 2020 MLB season would be between 78 to 82 games long with teams playing only against divisional and geographical opponents. 

As an example listed yesterday, in a 78-game season, the Mets would play their NL East rivals — the Phillies, Braves, Nationals, and Marlins — in four three-game series. They would then play American League East sides — the Yankees, Red Sox, Rays, Blue Jays, and Orioles — in two three-game series.

The initial hope is that teams will be able to play in their home ballparks with those in heavily affected areas being relocated to spring-training facilities or other MLB parks. 

Regardless of location, fans will not be permitted in the stadiums for the time being. 

Following the shortened regular season, an expanded playoff would take place. Seven teams would make the postseason rather than six with the top team in each league getting a bye to the Division Series. 

The other two division winners and the top wild-card seed would face the bottom three wild-card teams in a best-of-three first-round series. 

While the league stands to continue losing money, a report from USA Today indicates that the proposal will call for teams to share at least 48% of their revenue with the players this season. 

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