CINCINNATI (FOX19) - It’s game on for Major League Baseball.
After weeks of negotiations between the players and owners, the two sides announced Tuesday night that they’ve reached an agreement to start the season in July.
“It feels like the longest rain delay we’ve ever experienced. We’re ready to pull the tarp,” Cincinnati Reds President of Baseball Operations Dick Williams said.
A statement from Reds CEO Bob Castellini reads:
“Amidst a unique and challenging year for the world and our sport we look forward to getting the 2020 MLB season underway and the return of the Reds to Great American Ball Park. We are extremely grateful to our fans for their support, and are excited for this competitive team to take the field.”
Players will report to training camp in their home cities on July 1, MLB confirms.
In addition to using Great American Ball Park, the team is finalizing plans to use a facility on the campus of Prasco Laboratories in Mason which is home to two fields, Prasco Park and Legacy Field.
The Reds expect 60 players to report for preseason workouts, with approximately 35 players based out of Great American Ball Park and 25 players practicing at the two fields in Mason.
The Reds’ workouts at Great American Ball Park and in Mason will be closed to the public.
The season will be 60 games in length starting on July 23 or 24.
“It’s going to be awesome. It’ll be a sprint,” Williams said.
He says there have been no known COVID-19 cases with Reds players or staff.
Per an MLB release: The proposed schedule will largely feature divisional play, with the remaining portion of each Club’s games against their opposite league’s corresponding geographical division (i.e., East vs. East, Central vs. Central and West vs. West), in order to mitigate travel. The vast majority of Major League Clubs are expected to conduct training at the ballparks in their primary home cities.
For the Reds, that means games against the Indians, White Sox, Twins, Royals and Tigers.
Commissioner Rob Manfred said: “Major League Baseball is thrilled to announce that the 2020 season is on the horizon. We have provided the Players Association with a schedule to play 60 games and are excited to provide our great fans with Baseball again soon.”
The two sides agreed to the length of season and salary structure Tuesday afternoon, but the final discussion points came down to health and safety protocols.