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Further details on the shape of a 2020 season

Regular season baseball could last to Halloween

Boston Red Sox v Chicago White Sox
Power brokers: Reinsdorf, Manfred, and the rest of MLB ownership and brass have agreed to a basic 2020 framework — if there is to be a 2020 season.
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Brett Ballantini started at South Side Sox in 2018 after 20 years of writing on basketball, baseball and hockey, including time on the Blackhawks and White Sox beats. Follow him on Twitter @BrettBallantini and email your site feedback to

Yesterday, several prominent baseball writers brought us the initial framework of how a 2020 season would play out, particularly with regard to service time and the amateur draft:

  • $170 million advanced to players over April and May, while baseball is idle. If the season is cancelled, players will keep the advance. If and when play resumes, player salaries will be pro-rated. Payments come in four categories, depending on contract status: $150,000, $60,000, $30,000 and $15,000.
  • A likely five-round 2020 draft, in late July. Bonuses will be no more than $100,000 up front, with remaining obligated monies deferred over the next two years.
  • A likely 20-round draft in 2021.
  • Undrafted players in 2020 will receive a maximum of $20,000 as a signing bonus.
  • A likely six-month delay to both the 2020 and the 2021 international signing periods from July to January.
  • Full years of service granted to any player on an MLB roster in 2020, no matter how long the season runs.
  • Duplicate 2019 service earned if the 2020 season is cancelled.
  • Free agency for all 2020 postseason free agents (Mookie Betts et. al).

On Friday, we got a look at the full agreement between MLB and the MLBPA:

  • Players hold the final say on scheduling issues, although both sides have agreed to consider an extension of the regular season through October 31.
  • Both sides agree that play won’t begin until bans on mass gatherings (varying by state, but generally no more than 50 people) are lifted. Not only does this mean that fan attendance might be a casualty of baseball’s resumption, but given the large amounts of on-field personnel required by two teams playing (80+ players/coaches/umps per game) even playing a baseball game with no one in attendance might defy large gathering orders.
  • There will be no baseball as long as there are still U.S. travel restrictions.
  • There will be no baseball if medical professionals cannot agree there is no risk to the healt of fans or players.
  • If those hurdles are cleared, the postseason might be expanded, and may also take place in neutral (domed, warm-weather) ballparks.
  • Roster size was not announced as part of this agreement, but is rumored to be swelling to 29 players (from 26) for the first month of the season. This would possibly allow for scheduled doubleheaders, say once a week.