MLB Players Agree to 60-Game Season with Opening Day Set for July: Report


The Major League Baseball Players Association has reportedly come to an agreement with the league to begin the 2020 season next month, putting an end to the sport's months-long hiatus as a result of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Of course, the 2020 season will look much different than usual thanks to the virus.

According to reports from CBS Sports and ESPN, players agreed to report for training camp on July 1, with Opening Day scheduled for July 24. The season will include 60 games, concluding in September — which will be less than half the number of games played in a typical season.

The post-season will end by October — which follows Dr. Anthony Fauci's recommendation that the baseball season take place during the summer and "avoid" playing in the colder late fall and winter months.

The MLBPA and the MLB did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

The two organizations have been negotiating for months on health and safety protocols and players' pay. ESPN reported Tuesday that as part of the deal, "players would receive the full prorated share of their salaries — about 37 percent of their full-season salaries and around $1.5 billion total."

"Players would not receive forgiveness on the $170 million salary advance they received as part of the March agreement and would get no money from the postseason," ESPN's report said.

Health and safety protocols for the season have not yet to be agreed upon, according to CBS Sports, which was first to report the news of the agreement Tuesday.

Those protocols will be imperative to the upcoming season, as news of the league's return comes as dozens of MLB players and staff have recently tested positive for COVID-19.

Last Friday, several players and staff on the Philadelphia Phillies tested positive after assembling at the team's training facilities in Florida, the team confirmed to PEOPLE. As many as 40 players and staff members across the league have tested positive in the last week, USA Today reported Sunday.

On Monday, the MLB said in a statement that it had asked the player's association to answer  by 5 p.m. ET that day whether players could report to training camp by July 1, and whether the union "will agree on the Operating Manual which contains the health and safety protocols necessary to give us the best opportunity to conduct and complete our regular season and Postseason," CNN reported.

The MLBPA said in a statement on Monday that its executive board "met multiple times in recent days to assess the status of our efforts to resume the 2020 season."

"Earlier this evening, the full Board reaffirmed the players' eagerness to return to work as soon and as safely as possible. To that end we anticipate finalizing a comprehensive set of health and safety protocols with Major League Baseball in coming days, and we await word from the league on the resumption of spring training camps and a proposed 2020 schedule."

"While we had hoped to reach a revised back to work agreement with the league, the Players remain fully committed to proceeding under our current agreement and getting back on the field for the fans, for the game, and for each other," the statement concluded.

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