Report: 2021 World Baseball Classic Pushed to 2023 amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMay 11, 2020

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MARCH 13:  A general view of Marlins Park home of the Miami Marlins on March 13, 2020 in Miami, Florida. Major League Baseball is suspending Spring Training and delaying the start of the regular season by at least two weeks due to the ongoing threat of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Mark Brown/Getty Images

The World Baseball Classic reportedly will be moved to 2023 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

Enrique Rojas of ESPN first reported the cancellation of the 2021 installment.

The 2021 World Baseball Classic is scheduled for March 9-23 with Taichung, Taiwan; Tokyo, Japan; Phoenix and Miami serving as host sites. 

The potential cancellation of the 2021 event doesn't come as much of a surprise after the 2020 qualifier games were postponed indefinitely in March at the same time the MLB regular season was put on hiatus because of the coronavirus. 

"It is not the priority right now," a source told Rojas.

That leaves the future of the event in doubt. As Rojas noted, the event was negotiated in the collective bargaining agreement between Major League Baseball and the players' union. That CBA expires in Dec. 2021, meaning any rescheduling of the tournament will be a part of negotiations in the next CBA.

Sherman noted the rescheduling of the tournament is pending approval of the tournament's board.