We are a little over a week away from players reporting to Spring Training and it appears that Major League Baseball is in the final stages of preparations. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported Monday that the league is in the process of finalizing a revised Grapefruit League schedule which would feature teams placed in separate pods on the east and west coasts of Florida. West coast teams would play 28 games with east-coast teams playing 24. East-coast teams would fill the remainder of their schedules with intrasquad-type games.
Additionally, the league and the Players Union are finalizing health and safety protocols which would include seven-inning doubleheaders and the runner on second in extra innings according to a report by Yahoo Sports’ Hannah Keyser.
Hearing that MLB and the MLBPA could have the health and safety protocols finalized as early as tonight and expect it to include seven-inning double headers and the runner on second in extra innings, DH not expected to be included.— Hannah Keyser (@HannahRKeyser) February 8, 2021
The Universal DH is not expected to be included in the deal and at this point, looks like a long shot to be implemented for the 2021 season. (Update) The deal was reportedly completed Monday night.
Those aren’t the only changes coming in 2021. Rosenthal and Eno Sarris reported Monday that the league is making changes to the baseball in an attempt to reduce offense slightly for the upcoming season.
Max Fried made this list at MLB.com of the aces who have the deepest arsenals.
The Angels avoided arbitration with Shohei Ohtani agreeing to a two-year, $8.5 million deal. Ohtani will be eligible for arbitration again in 2023 before becoming a free agent the next season.