MLB 2020 Season: Everything You Need to Know About Baseball Restart Plans

The MLB regular season could begin in just over a month after MLB owners voted unanimously in favor of implementing the terms of the agreement they made with the MLB Players' Association on March 26.

Weeks of negotiations reached another standstill on Monday when the players' union voted down the latest league proposal of a 60-game regular season with expanded playoffs.

"In view of this rejection, the MLB Clubs have unanimously voted to proceed with the 2020 season under the terms of the March 26th Agreement," the league said in a statement.

For the regular season to begin, the MLB has asked players whether they can report for training by July 1 and "whether the Players Association will agree on the Operating Manual which contains the health and safety protocols necessary to give us the best opportunity to conduct and complete our regular season and Postseason."

Here's all you need to know about the MLB's plans.

When will the 2020 season start?

Originally scheduled for March 26, the MLB has now pencilled in Opening Day for late July. The exact date is yet to be determined but the league indicated it would like it to be July 24. Spring Training should begin on July 1 after the MLB asked the players' union on Monday whether the players can report for training in their respective cities by then.

That will be a logistical challenge in itself as a number of players may have spent the lockdown in different cities from the ones they play in, while others may have to find housing.

How will the regular season and the playoffs work?

The regular season will consist of 60 games instead of the usual 162-game slate. The number of regular season games was one of the thorniest issues in the negotiations between the MLB and the MLBPA. The league's most recent proposal, tabled 10 days ago, called for a 72-game season, which the MLBPA countered with demands to play 89 regular season games.

One of the MLB's proposals also called for an expanded playoff field to make up for the shortened regular season, but the implementation of the terms of the agreement signed on March 26 means the postseason will consist of 10 teams as it has done since 2012.

Both the American League and the National League will have a single game wild-card playoff between two wild card teams, followed by two best-of-five division series in each league and a best-of-seven League Championship Series on each side of the bracket. The winner of both championship series will play in the World Series.

How much will the players earn?

The agreement signed on March 26 called for players to earn a full pro-rated salaries for every game they play. On a 60-game regular season basis, that means players stand to earn approximately 37 percent of their full-season salaries.

What about the threat of coronavirus?

In the back-and-forth quarrel between the league and the players' union that has dominated proceedings for the last two months, the novel coronavirus pandemic has unexpectedly taken somewhat of a backseat. The COVID-19 outbreak, however, remains a very real threat for baseball, just as it does for the U.S. as a whole. Last week, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred shut down spring training facilities in Arizona and Florida after both states reported a spike in cases.

While the decision means the Miami Marlins, Tampa Bay Rays and Arizona Diamondbacks can't train in their home state, it also impacted teams such as the Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays, San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers whose spring training facilities are all based in either Florida or Arizona.

It remains to be seen which approach the MLB will adopt in states such as Texas, which have also recorded a sharp increase in coronavirus cases. The border shutdown between the U.S. and Canada could also disrupt plans, after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced last week the shutdown would last until July 21 at least.

To further exacerbate matters, the MLB recorded a flurry of cases of its own last week.

The Phillies reported five players and three staff members tested positive for coronavirus, while the Blue Jays said a player had showed symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and the Giants confirmed one person who had visited the training facility was also suspected to have coronavirus.

The Houston Astros reported a player tested positive earlier this month, while two players in the Los Angeles Angels organization also tested positive as did one of the Washington Nationals minor league players.

Last week, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned baseball should not be played beyond October.

"If the question is time, I would try to keep it in the core summer months and end it not with the way we play the World Series, until the end of October when it's cold," the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told the Los Angeles Times.

MLB, Chicago White Sox
A general view of Guaranteed Rate Feld, home of the Chicago White Sox, on May 8 in Chicago, Illinois. Major League Baseball owners have voted to begin the season on July 24. Jonathan Daniel/Getty