6:48pm: There’s expected to be a COVID-19 injured list for players “who test positive, have confirmed exposure or are exhibiting symptoms,” Jeff Passan of ESPN tweets. That list would not be limited to a specific number of days.
- The league’s transactions freeze will end Friday at noon ET, though it’s still debating whether to let teams sign players to minor league contracts.
- Teams must submit their 60-player pool by 3 ET on Sunday, and they’ll be able to take three taxi squad players on the road, though one has to be a catcher. All 60 of those players will be invited to spring training, but clubs will have the option of sending 20 to alternate sites.
- Players have to be added to the big league roster by Sept. 15 to be eligible for the postseason.
- Even though teams won’t have to invite all players on their 40-man rosters to spring training, they’ll still have to be paid.
- MLB has been talking with Nashville about keeping two teams of unsigned players there as an emergency pool. Those players would make $400 per week, and teams would have to pay a fee to Nashville to sign any of them.
3:42pm: If there is a 2020 Major League Baseball season, everybody who follows the game knows it’s going to be unusual for myriad reasons. The regular season’s only going to last 60 games, for one, and that’s assuming the COVID-19 pandemic won’t stand in the way. There will also be quite a few changes to the rules, as Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com relays (Twitter links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7):
- MLB plans to implement 30-man rosters, up from 26, to start the season. However, the 30-man total will shrink to 28 on the 15th day of the season. It will go down to 26 on Day 29 and stay there for good.
- The trade deadline is normally July 31, but expectations are that it will move to Aug. 31 this year.
- A runner starting on second base in extra innings would only apply in the regular season, not the playoffs. The batter who made the final out in the previous inning would start extras on second.
- MLB may decide to suspend games that don’t last at least five innings due to weather. In other words, they’ll remain in limbo until the teams are able to finish them at a later date.
- Both pitchers and position players would likely have a 10-day injured list. For players who are seriously hurt, the 60-day IL would be cut to 45 days.
- Three days before the resumption of spring training, teams have to submit lists of 60 players who will be eligible to play for them during the season (40-man rosters plus taxi squads). All players would not show up to spring training at the same time. They’d report on a “staggered” basis, and they’d be at the ballpark at different times.