Everything you need to know about the 2020 MLB season: Rules changes, key dates, and schedule

Danny Abriano
SNY

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

After months of torturous negotiations between the league and players, the 2020 MLB season is finally about to get underway, with commissioner Rob Manfred having implemented it.

It will start with spring training part two (summer training, really) for three weeks before Opening Day.

Here's everything you need to know about the shortened season...

Key Dates

July 1

The official reporting date for spring training, which will be held primarily at home ballparks. The Mets will be at Citi Field (and potentially MCU Park in Brooklyn), and the Yankees will be at Yankee Stadium

July 23 or 24

Opening Day

Aug. 31

The trade deadline, which will be pushed back a month this year due to the nearly four-month delay of the start of the season

Sept. 15

The cutoff date for playoff roster eligibility. A player most be on the active roster by this date in order to be eligible for postseason play

Sept. 27

Regular season ends

The Schedule

Length

The regular season will be 60 games long

Opponents and breakdown

In order to mitigate excess travel, teams will play primarily in their geographical area. For example, the Mets will play only teams in the NL East (40 games) and AL East (20 games)

Postseason

Because the league and players did not reach an agreement -- leading Manfred to instead implement the season -- the expectation is that the expanded playoffs (which would've gone from 10 teams to 16 teams) will not happen

Rules Changes

Roster Size

Active rosters will be 30 on Opening Day, trimmed to 28 two weeks after that, and then cut to 26 two weeks after that

Universal DH

The expectation is that the universal DH will be used this season -- despite the failure of the two sides to agree to a deal -- due to the fact that it is a player safety issue

Extra Innings

Borrowing a rule from the minors and in an effort to prevent games from going too long, a runner will be placed at second base at the start of each half of each extra inning frame

Injured List

There will be a 10-day injured list in effect for all players, though there will also be a coronavirus list. For players on the coronavirus list, there will not be a set amount of time they are forced to spend on it

Suspended Games

Games that are not at least five innings long (or in the bottom of the fifth with the home team leading) can now be suspended due to weather. The prior rule did not allow games that short to be suspended. Instead, they were postponed and restarted

Team Relocation

MLB has the right to relocate teams to neutral sites for reasons related to the coronavirus pandemic

***

Along with all of the above, there will be many new rules and restrictions in place in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, with many of those rules and restrictions covered here by Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic

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