On Monday, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that individuals throughout Major League Baseball have grown optimistic some sort of big league season will occur in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic.
A day later, Bob Nightengale of USA Today added information on what a unique MLB campaign may look like later this year.
According to Nightengale, three executives informed him MLB is preparing for a season with at least 100 games that would begin between late June and July 2. Teams would play in their home ballparks, but fans would not be allowed to attend games. This would enable players to avoid quarantining from their families for several months, something stars such as Los Angeles Angels slugger Mike Trout and Los Angeles Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw spoke out against earlier this month.
As part of the plan, the league would feature three 10-team divisions aligned by geographical locations that would join clubs from both the National and American Leagues. Teams would only play intradivisional games during the season.
The East would include the New York Mets, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles, Tampa Bay Rays and Miami Marlins.
The Central would feature the Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Twins, Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds, Atlanta Braves, Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals.
The West would have the Angels, Dodgers, Oakland Athletics, San Francisco Giants, Houston Astros, Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres, Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies and Texas Rangers.
Earlier on Tuesday, MLB provided clubs with the option to allow refunds for games missed due to the coronavirus. Refunds are not mandatory, and teams could instead offer credits used to acquire tickets for future games that would include fans at ballparks.
Nightengale added fans may be able to attend regular-season or playoff games later this fall.