Major League Baseball is reportedly close to an agreement on re-starting baseball for 2020 with a late June start and a realigned division.
Reports are that officials are looking to start in late June or no later than July 2. The season will be comprised of at least 100 regular-season games, and an undetermined playoffs schedule, according to USA Today.
But the latest idea is that the games will be played in the teams’ own home ballparks. This marks a departure from previous schemes where all teams would play in but a few stadiums located only in Florida and Arizona.
According to the paper: “MLB is considering a three-division, 10-team plan in which teams play only within their division – a concept gaining support among owners and executives. It would abolish the traditional American and National Leagues, and realign the divisions based on geography.”
The paper notes that the suggested realignment would consist of three divisions:
New York Yankees and Mets, Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals, Baltimore Orioles, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Toronto Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Rays, Miami Marlins
Los Angeles Dodgers and Angels, San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Texas Rangers, Houston Astros, Seattle Mariners
Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Royals, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Minnesota Twins, Atlanta Braves, Detroit Tigers
Plans are not final, of course, as the league seeks facts from medical professionals about measures to limit exposure to players, team employees, broadcasters, and others involved in baseball.
“It’s all coming together. I’m very optimistic,” an insider told the paper.
The teams are also still expected to re-start spring training, though it is expected to be a shortened timeline.
Officials, though, are reportedly looking for ways to avoid quarantine for the players and others associated with baseball. Previous reports expected that a system of mass quarantine would be instituted to keep players safe during the reconfigured season.
“This is going to be a season like we’ve never seen,” one of the executives told the paper, “But that’s fine. It’s at least a season.”
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