MLB rosters frozen; Conditions for resuming the game set

Mar 28, 2020 2:25 AM ET

As expected, an agreement to suspend the 2020 season caused by corona viruses has resulted in a freeze in MLB rosters, reports USA Today’s Bob Nightengale on twitter. A date for the resumption of transactions will be set in the future.

As part of their negotiations, Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have also made a number of agreements to restart the game. Jeff Passan from ESPN.com (Twitter Left) reported the details. Roster movements are permitted as soon as a new opening day can be planned.

It is not entirely clear whether the sides have expressly agreed to restrictions as part of their collectively negotiated special exceptions to the basic agreement. But at least it seems mutual intention to wait for baseball to do business in the usual way before the season begins.

The league and the union do not want to start playing if the fans cannot be present. A lifting of the ban on mass meetings will therefore be a prerequisite for the start of the season – although he adds that there is a “restriction” that neutral seats and empty stadiums can be considered as needed.

It is good that this understanding has a certain flexibility, as there is no guarantee that a typical staging of ball games will be possible if and when. Even if a certain number of fans can ultimately see a competition, this can always change.

The same applies to one of Passan’s other requirements for resuming the game: the absence of travel restrictions. We do not yet know what types of changes in domestic transportation we will face in this crisis, but it is likely that the approach will evolve over time as requirements change in different areas.

The last important consideration when running competitions is review by medical experts to ensure they are safe for those present. MLB’s exact plans are not clear. Perhaps the league will hire a consultant to lead the process.

It is certainly good to hear that the league and the union want to ensure that their actions do not pose a health risk to those involved in the game and / or the general public. But the demands also seem pretty high considering where things are now to contain the deadly pathogen. Especially since we would all like to see the game played in front of a live audience, it seems terribly difficult to achieve in the near future given the enormous uncertainties.

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