The labor deal between Major League Baseball and the Players Association, first reported last night, has been made official, according to Jeff Passan.
New details have emerged about the deal now that it is in place. Most significantly, the league and players both agreed that games will not be played until travel restrictions and bans on mass gatherings are lifted. Another criteria is having medical experts determine that games will not provide a health risk to players, coaches, and fans.
Even with the fact that players have agreed to play games at neutral sites if needed, this news nonetheless reflects just how real the possibility of the 2020 season being canceled is.
The players and league agreed the 2020 MLB season won't begin until:— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 27, 2020
- There are no bans on mass gatherings that limit the ability to play in front of fans*
- There are no travel restrictions
- Medical experts determine games will not pose a risk to health of teams and fans
Other changes that have been reported include alterations to the 2020 and 2021 draft, delayed payments to draft picks in these two years, and the international amateur free agent signing period being pushed back.
As reported last night, the crux of the deal will involve the league providing $170 million in player salary up front, with the players agreeing to not sue for the remainder of their salaries in the event that the season does not happen. Additionally, all players will receive a years’ worth of service time, meaning that impending free agents such as Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, and DJ LeMahieu will become free agents as expected.
We’ll keep you updated here on Pinstripe Alley as additional reports come in.