Granted, this a site about the minors, but after weeks of bickering between MLB and MLBPA the news dropped yesterday that there is a 60-game regular season planned for 2020.
Perhaps now we’ll get official word about the fate of the minor leaguers, but it seems all but certain that there will be no minor-league baseball played. To that end, yesterday news broke that 15 minor-league teams have filed a federal lawsuit alleging breach of contract for the denial of claims for business-interruption insurance.
[Insert variation of “It’s always about the money”]
Details about the planned season are coming to light. Among the notable that would apply to “our guys”:
- Rosters will begin with 30 active players, reduce to 28 after two weeks, then (presumably two weeks later) to 26. They will not expand to 28 in September.
- The trade deadline will be August 31. The deadline for postseason rosters will be September 15
- Teams will be allowed to keep 60 players on call. It’s not clear about the status or pay of the 20 players not on the 40-man roster, but it’s probably safe to assume they will be paid less than the 40-man players
- The transaction freeze will be lifted on Friday, which should give us a better idea about “the other 20”
Much has already been made about some of the rule changes, including the NL joining the 20th century with a DH, position players not restricted from pitching, and the runner-on-second for extra innings.
More will probably be made about the testing protocols, which are extensive and will undoubtedly be fodder for the folks who believe the coronavirus is a hoax and/or those whose grasp of science extends little beyond the manufacture of methamphetamine.
Nor has there been much ado about how cases are increasing in 27 states and commonwealths, in which 16 of the 29 U.S. teams play and how only four (4) teams play where cases have been declining (Illinois, DC, and Maryland). The Blue Jays are another matter altogether, with Toronto and its spring training facility presumably out of bounds.
So rejoice if you’re willing to embrace cognitive dissonance, but forgive me if I’m hesitant to take a swim in that river in Egypt.