Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported Monday night that Manfred has informed teams to prepare for spring training to start on time in February, and to plan for a full 162 game season.
While this is not a guarantee, this is a good indication that a full season is likely. This news comes after reports throughout the offseason that the owners wanted to delay the season. Per Nightengale’s report, the owners did indeed want to delay the season by at least a month, but they do not have the power to do that unilaterally and the players fought against any delay.
Another tidbit from the report is that the universal DH and expanded playoffs are still on the negotiating table between the owners and the players’ union, along with the 2021 health and safety protocols. This doesn’t come as a surprise, but it is useful to get confirmation that these rules are still undecided.
The fact that the rules are still undecided, the universal DH in particular, comes at the frustration of many free agents looking for teams and front office members trying to build rosters. The absence of a decision on the DH is largely contributing to the slow pace of the free agent market, and is causing “little buzz” on the market for players like Marcell Ozuna.