We’re about six weeks past when the 2020 MLB season was about to begin, and we’re still very far away from the coronavirus-altered season getting started. You’re still going to have to wait a while for San Francisco Giants games.
But while MLB may not yet be nearing a return to play, they are apparently nearing a plan for a return to play, which is in important first step. According to a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan, MLB will send a return-to-play proposal to players sometime in the next week.
Major League Baseball expects to offer a return-to-play proposal to the MLB Players Association within a week, as teams have begun to encourage players to prepare for a “spring” training that could begin in mid-June and a season that could start in early July, sources familiar with the discussions told ESPN.
Those dates will surely be tentative, but they’re encouraging nonetheless. Passan notes that some teams are suggesting that players prepare for a July 1 start to the season, while other people involved think that timeline is unrealistically optimistic.
Passan also notes the myriad logistical obstacles that still remain, including figuring out how to handle payment (since there won’t be fans), deciding what should happen if players don’t want to partake in the season, and, perhaps most importantly, figuring out what to do if a player tests positive for the coronavirus.
And that’s before we even get to the baseball questions, like roster size, season length, and scheduling.
In other words, we’re a long, long ways away from MLB baseball, and a long ways away from knowing when we’ll have MLB baseball. But a proposal is in motion, and, if nothing else, it’s a first step that gives fans, players, and teams something to hold on to.