Rob Manfred 60 game season
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Three circumstances which would cancel the 2020 baseball season

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Ever since people began speculating about what the 2020 season might look like, people have been asking what, in these fairly insane and uncertain times, might cause the season to be cancelled.

Over the weekend Andy Martino of SNY obtained the portion of Major League Baseball’s health and safety protocols which speak to that. And it turns out that there are three things which could trigger a season cancellation. The three triggers:

(1) if restrictions on travel throughout the United States are imposed;

(2) if there is a material change in circumstances such that the Commissioner determines, after consultation with recognized medical experts and the Players Association, that it poses an unreasonable health and safety risk to players or staff to stage those games, even without fans in attendance; or

(3) if the number of players who are unavailable to perform services due to COVID-19 is so great that the competitive integrity of the season is undermined.

The first factor is obviously objective. The second two are obviously subjective, left up to Rob Manfred’s judgment. I’m not sure what, exactly, would trigger such judgments. There is no set number of positive tests or players absent which would tip the balance, for example. But given that the recent surge in positive tests, both nationally and on MLB rosters, haven’t spurred such discussion, I have to imagine it’d be a pretty dire set of circumstances.

Michael Kopech has opted out of the 2020 season

Kopech has opted out
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Michael Kopech has opted out of the 2020 season. The White Sox starter informed the team of his decision today, and the team issued a press release to that affect a few minutes ago.

The statement from general manager Rick Hahn. said “we recognize that reaching this decision is incredibly difficult for any competitive athlete, and our organization is understanding and supportive. We will work with Michael to assure his development continues throughout 2020, and we look forward to welcoming him back into our clubhouse for the 2021 season.”

Kopech, 24, has only four big league starts under his belt, all coming in late August and early September of 2018, but after a strong spring training he was likely to make Chicago’s rotation at some point in the 2020 season after sitting out all of 2019 following Tommy John surgery. Kopech was among the players sent to Chicago from the Red Sox in the Chris Sale trade back in December 2016. Others involved in the deal included Yoán Moncada, Victor Diaz, and Luis Alexander Basabe.

Now, however, Kopech has opted out.