Major League Baseball considering playing in empty spring stadiums

New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka faces a tough challenge in 2020 thanks to the

Opening Day was postponed with league officers anticipating a return someday round mid-May however because the coronavirus pandemic continues to worsen in the U.S., MLB has reportedly thought of new measures to make sure the season is maintained to some degree of normalcy.

Major League Baseball is entertaining the idea of playing games in centralized locations without fans as it looks at ways to conduct the 2020 season, reports The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal. The union looks at this as additional funds beyond the $400 a week that Major League Baseball has agreed to pay minor leaguers through May. Players between one and two years of service could accrue $7500, while players with two to three years could earn $15K.

Besides Nunez, those who were in Mets camp as of March 13 and are eligible include Matt Adams, Stephen Nogosek, Jarrett Parker, Pedro Payano, Erasmo Ramirez, Yefry Ramirez, René Rivera, Nick Rumbelow, Chasen Shreve and Rob Whalen.

Players on 40-man rosters, 60-man injured lists and on outright assignments to the minor leagues with big league deals are covered by the March 26 agreement between MLB and the union. The union decided to make sure they have access to more than the $400-a-week payment, though this new fund is available only to those who request it, because some veteran non-roster players have banked millions of dollars during their careers.

Any player may opt out of the money, which is being advanced against salaries. That money comes from a $170 million advance fund paid by Major League Baseball over what was to have been the season's first 60 days.

A player with six-plus years of service who falls into the categories, such as Eduardo Nunez, who was in Mets camp, and Chris Iannetta, who was in Yankees camp, are eligible for $50,000.

Earlier this week, Jameson Taillon, the Pirates' player union representative, said the union and league were considering starting the season in empty stadiums.



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