Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have a deal, sources tell ESPN’s Jeff Passan. The players have voted on it already. MLB owners are expected to ratify it Friday.
The deal draws a path forward as baseball tries to figure out when it will return from the stoppage because of the coronavirus pandemic.
In the deal, MLB has the right to shorten the 2020 draft to five rounds, sources tell ESPN. Additionally, it can delay the start of the international signing period to as late as January 2021.
MLB also can shorten the 2021 draft to 20 rounds, and push back the 2021-22 international signing period to January 2022 through December 2022, per sources.
The most important thing for the players: In the doomsday scenario of no 2020 season, they will get full service time, meaning Mookie Betts, Trevor Bauer, Marcus Stroman, J.T. Realmuto and others will be free agents in November regardless of whether games are played.
Along these lines, an important point: Because the season will clearly be shorter, the arbitration rules will be adjusted so players are not penalized for putting up counting stats that don’t stack up to past comparables.