Chicago Cubs

MLB, Players Set Date for Start of Baseball Season

After negotiations broke down earlier this week, Major League Baseball owners and players have agreed on health and safety protocols and will start the 2020 MLB season next month.

The MLB Players Association announced Tuesday that "all remaining issues have been resolved," and that players will begin reporting to training camps.

According to multiple reports, including from ESPN's Karl Ravech and Jeff Passan, the season will consist of 60 games, with players receiving prorated salaries for the 2020 campaign.

Players are expected to report to camp by July 1, and the season will start roughly three weeks after that date.

According to MLB Network's Jon Heyman, teams will play 40 games against their divisional opponents and 20 against interleague opponents from the opposing league:

That adds up to 10 games against each divisional opponent, and four against each team in the opposing league's division. That would mean four games would take place between the Cubs and White Sox this season.

Players and owners had been locked in a contentious battle over salaries for the 2020 season, with players insisting they be paid the prorated salaries they were promised under an agreement with owners that delayed the start of the season due to the coronavirus.

Owners had wanted to reduce player pay for the season, with a lack of ticket sales and a smaller number of games playing factors in their desire to amend the terms of the March pact.

Earlier this week, players rejected the owners' final offer of 60 games at 104 percent prorated salary, and owners decided to lock in a 60-game season without additional incentives for players.

During the 2020 season, teams in both the National and American Leagues will be permitted to use the designated hitter, along with a host of other roster changes, according to multiple reports.

A proposal to expand the playoffs to 16 teams was not implemented, meaning that both teams will still have five teams that qualify for postseason play.

The final hurdle to clear came on Tuesday, as players and owners agreed to health and safety protocols amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Extensive coronavirus testing will be part of the equation, and it's expected that no fans will be in the stands to start the season.

Stay tuned for more details on this breaking story.

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