With the start of the 2020 Major League Baseball season not expected until some time in May or early June in a best-case scenario, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has additionally thrown the 2020 Draft and 2020-2021 international signing period into limbo.
MLB is adhering to recommendations made by health professionals, and delayed Opening Day for a second time in response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggesting gatherings of 50 or more people not be held at least through May 10.
Restrictions have since been capped at limiting gatherings to 10 or fewer people. As such, sports, both professional and amateur, have cancelled their slate of games and events.
According to Ken Rosenthal and Jayson Stark of The Athletic, MLB asked the MLB Players Association for power to make a decision on possibly cancelling or making changes to the 2020 Draft:
Major League Baseball, in its talks with the MLB Players Association about how to proceed with the 2020 season, asked for the right to cancel or modify the draft, which is scheduled to be held June 10-12. But one person on the players association side, mindful of the attention the draft might receive, says such a move would be a “colossal error.”
MLB previously instructed teams to suspend all domestic and international scouting. Of course, given the various seasons that were cancelled, the number of opportunities to scout had essentially been eliminated.
Another layer to the 2020 MLB Draft was it being scheduled to take place in Omaha, Neb., during the College World Series. The NCAA already scrapped this year’s CWS.
Thus, months would have passed between the time teams last scouted players and when they were making decisions in the draft. The Los Angeles Dodgers hold the Nos. 29, 61 and 67 selections through the first two rounds.
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