MLB and MLBPA Reach Agreement on After Season Plan

10:25 am: The players’ families will have the option to quarantine the hotel with them in the seven days prior to the post-season, Rosenthal Tweets. After that they will be able to join the bubbles for the duration of the qualifying round.

9:49 am: Sherman More reports Teams will continue to operate their alternate training sites during the pre-season quarantine period, but transfers between the alternate site and the large leagues list will not be permitted. As such, all players on the IL roster and 40 players will likely join this quarantine setting to allow clubs to continue making list moves.

This is not an ideal setting, as it seems unlikely that these players will be able to participate in simulation games and other standard training, but the league is clearly exercising extra caution to ensure that the post-season period can happen.

9:37 am: Sherman Add The previously reported quarantine measures that led to the playoffs will still apply to players. All competing club members, even those playing at home, will be quarantined in hotels for seven days before the first round of post-season play. They will be tested daily during that time. If a team is disqualified from Post-Season Dispute in the seven-day period, of course those players can leave hotels early.

9:30 am: Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association are agreeing a plan for the 2020 post-season season that includes a “bubble” format hosted in neutral locations for the Division Series, League Championship and World Series, according to a report by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (Via Twitter). An official announcement is expected today.

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Ranking details are still sparse, though At the last check, The plan was to host ALDS and ALCS at National League stadiums in Southern California (Dodger Stadium and Petco Park in San Diego). The NLDS and NLCS, in turn, will be hosted in a pair of Major League Soccer locations: Rangers ‘Globe Life Field and Astros’ Minute Maid Park. The World Championships will be held at the Globe Life Field as well. The first round of play will be hosted in the home garden of the match’s top seed, Joel Sherman of the New York Post Tweets.

These points seemed to be broadly agreed, but there were other details to be reached. Notably, the players rejected the quarantine measures that were to be put in place for their family members before they were allowed to join them in the bubble. There also appears to be some discussion about allowing fans to have limited capacity, as Commissioner Rob Manfred suggested last night at an online event with Hofstra University Business School (Link via Evan Drilish of The Athletic). It was not clear whether this possibility was woven into the agreement.

“Hope fan capacity is limited at the World Championships and LCS,” Manfred said in this look. “… clearly they will be limited numbers, and socially distant, protections offered to the fans in terms of temperature checks and the like. Kind of capsules as I’ve seen in some NFL games. Maybe we’ll use the same theory.”

It seems elusive to refer to anything as a “bubble” when family members and fans – even in limited quantities – are allowed into the equation, but it’s worth noting that even under discussion. The limited fan presence would complicate health and safety protocols, but it would also cushion the financial blow for clubs without the gate revenue in 2020. It could also serve as a fairly basic test before the 2021 season, which Manfred acknowledged is not a given. To return to normal life from day one:

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“I think the trick in terms of what’s going to happen next year, it’s based on the virus,” Manfred said. “The virus is controlling and you have a vaccine? Are we still seeing mutations? This will lead to what local governments will allow us to do.”

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