MLB owners approve a preliminary season reboot plan

Comerica Park in Detroit is seen during a Detroit Tigers-Kansas City Royals game on September 21, 2018. Photo by Mark Brown/Blackburn News.

Could baseball fans be seeing their favourite game resume this summer?

CBS Sports, citing a report by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, reported Monday afternoon that Major League Baseball owners have approved a preliminary plan to start an abbreviated baseball season in early July. There has been no official confirmation from MLB itself.

The owners of the Detroit Tigers and the Toronto Blue Jays would have been part of the discussion, but the report did not indicate if the approval was unanimous among the 30 MLB owners.

The report also indicated that the MLB Players Association will take a look at the proposal on Tuesday.

CBS reported that the main points of the reboot plan include an 82-game regular season, which involves each team concentrating on division rivals and geographical rivals from the corresponding division in the opposite league. This would limit travel in an effort to allow players, managers, coaches, and staff to remain home with their families as much as possible.

Other points include an expanded playoff to include seven teams from each of the two leagues, use of a universal designated hitter, a 30-player active roster with a 20-player taxi squad, and a 50-50 revenue sharing plan between players and teams.

There is expected to be some extensive back-and-forth between the league and the players’ union before a final plan is approved.

The target for Opening Day was set for July 1, according to USA Today. This would allow for teams to hold a new spring-training season in June, either at their home ballparks or their spring-training homes. The revenue-sharing plan is also expected to be a point of contention for the players’ union.

The season was put on hold in mid-March amid concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. It is highly unlikely that fans will be permitted to attend games at the ballpark.