Angels fans rejoice, Major League Baseball and the Players’ Association announced that the 2020 MLB start has a start date.
It took a lot of back and forth, a ton of debate, and an unknown amount of hostility between Major League Baseball and the MLBPA, but baseball finally has a start date for when it can begin the 2020 season. Now all the Los Angeles Angels and the rest of the league need to do is pack up their things and officially report back to spring training 2.0.
While the two parties were unable to come to an agreement that would prevent future litigation (i.e. over the number of games played), they will fall back on the original agreement, set forth in March, which allows the commissioner to declare a season length and get everyone back to work.
So how will the 2020 MLB season look? Here is everything we know.
How many games will the Angels play in 2020?
As per the MLB announcement, all teams will play an abbreviated 60-game schedule. This falls in line with the league’s final proposal to the MLBPA and will pay the players their full prorated salaries for those contests.
Who will the Angels play in 2020 and what will their schedule look like?
As was reported throughout the negotiations, the schedule will limit travel for teams in order to try and contain potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus. As such, the Angels will only play teams in the Western divisions. As constructed now, the Angels will face American League West opponents (i.e. Astros, Rangers, Mariners, Athletics) a total of 40 games. The remaining 20 games will be split among the team’s National League counterparts (Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Giants, Padres, Rockies).
When will the 2020 season start for the Angels?
While no official schedule has been released yet, teams will begin reporting to an abbreviated spring training on July 1st. The regular season will then begin on July 23rd or 24th, per the MLB announcement.
How many players will be at Spring Training?
The Angels and all other teams will be allowed to have a pool of 60 players. As soon as players report, and undergo mandatory Coronavirus testing, they will be allowed to begin intrasquad games immediately.
What changes are coming for the 2020 season?
Outside of the schedule change that limits games to geographical rivals, there will be some other small changes to the game.
- Both the American League and National League will utilize the universal designated hitter in 2020. As the two sides were unable to come to an agreement on their other negotiations, the universal DH will revert back to normal league rules in 2021.
- In the event of extra-inning games, all teams will begin with a runner on second in order to help end these games quicker. This will be in effect for regular-season games only, with the postseason playing under normal rules. That runner will not count as an earned run for the pitcher on record.
- Rosters will be expanded to 30 players at the start of the season. After two weeks they will be reduced to 28, and then to 26 after four weeks of play. This is another rule to aid in player health, especially in light of an abbreviated spring training.
- Teams will carry up to three players on a “taxi squad” on each road trip, one of which must be a catcher. These players can be substituted onto the roster in the event of an injury.
- The 15-day IL will be reduced to 10 days for all standard injuries. The 60-day IL will be reduced to 45 days.
What did NOT change for the 2020 season?
As previously mentioned, the universal designated hitter will only be in effect for the 2020 season. It had previously been rumored as being in place for both 2020 and 2021, with the anticipation that it could be made permanent under the next collective bargaining agreement.
One of the other notable features that were dropped due to the lack of an agreement was the expanded postseason format. That means that the 2020 postseason will remain at 10 teams, five from each league (three division champions and two wild cards).
Will there be any transactions in 2020?
Under the original agreement when Coronavirus shut down the MLB season, transactions were frozen. With a start date in place, transactions will re-open five days before teams report to Spring Training. That means teams will be free to sign, trade, and release players as of Friday, June 26th.
Likewise, the MLB trade deadline will still remain. However, rather than being placed on July 31st as per a normal season, the deadline has been moved to August 31st.
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Are you ready for the return of Angels baseball?
Like all of us here at Halo Hangout, we are sure that you are excited and ready to see some baseball in 2020. It’ll be an interesting format, and it will undoubtedly be a sprint, but we’re ready to go!