Major League Baseball is set to return. The MLB Players Association (MLBPA) informed the league on Tuesday that players will comply with commissioner Rob Manfred's imposed outline for a 2020 season.
Players are set report for another version of "spring" training on July 1, and the league's imposed 60-game season will start either July 23 or 24, the league announced.
The two sides also finalized coronavirus health and safety protocols on Tuesday night.
Here's part of the league's statement announcing MLB's return:
"The health and safety of players and employees will remain MLB's foremost priorities in its return to play. MLB is working with a variety of public health experts, infectious disease specialists and technology providers on a comprehensive approach that aims to facilitate a safe return.
"MLB has submitted a 60-game regular season schedule for review by the Players Association. The proposed schedule will largely feature divisional play, with the remaining portion of each Club's games against their opposite league's corresponding geographical division (i.e., East vs. East, Central vs. Central and West vs. West), in order to mitigate travel. The vast majority of Major League Clubs are expected to conduct training at the ballparks in their primary home cities.
"Commissioner Manfred said: "Major League Baseball is thrilled to announce that the 2020 season is on the horizon. We have provided the Players Association with a schedule to play 60 games and are excited to provide our great fans with Baseball again soon.'"
MLB owners voted unanimously Monday night to have Manfred mandate a season. Manfred had requested that the players respond by 5 p.m. ET so that the league could proceed with scheduling that imposed season. The league and players failed to reach a modified agreement for a 2020 season after weeks of negotiations and Manfred had the right to impose a schedule thanks to a deal the two sides struck in March.
The negotiations about a return-to-play plan stalled when it came to the length of the season and the financial compensation players would receive. The union's ability to file a grievance against the league, which could result in a substantial cash windfall, also became a matter of importance later in the talks.
Originally, the league had submitted a 67-page proposal outlining all the safety and testing protocols that would be installed this season. Little else had been leaked about negotiations concerning those regulations, though the two sides were suggested to be closer than not, with the league bending to players' requests for greater access to medical and training equipment.
It's worth noting that at least 40 MLB players and staff members reportedly tested positive for the novel coronavirus in recent days. MLB has also reportedly ordered all spring training sites to be closed and sanitized, and personnel must test negative for COVID-19 before being allowed to return.
-- This story originally appeared on CBSSports.com.
First published on June 23, 2020 / 10:18 PM