Rob Manfred Reportedly Told MLB Teams to Prepare for 162-Game Season in 2021

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IIIJanuary 12, 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 6, 2020, file photo, Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred answers questions at a press conference during baseball owners meetings in Orlando, Fla. Manfred tells The Associated Press that the commissioner's office, teams and the players' association
John Raoux/Associated Press

A full season of Major League Baseball is reportedly just one month away. 

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred told teams Monday they should plan on spring training starting on time in February in preparation for a complete 162-game season, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today

Per Nightengale, the league wanted to push off the start of the season to allow players and fans to receive vaccinations for COVID-19, "but the [MLBPA] vigorously fought it." 

The collective bargaining agreement prohibits the league from delaying the start of the season without agreement from the players association, who reportedly refused to accept less than 100 percent of pay owed for the upcoming season. 

In the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, MLB played 60 games and players were paid just 37 percent of their salaries as teams lost $3 billion without fans in the stands. A unique 16-team playoff field and a universal designated hitter were among other changes last year, and the two sides are still discussing whether those rules will apply to the 2021 season.

Spring training is slated to start in both Arizona and Florida on Feb. 17 before Opening Day, which is scheduled for April 1. 

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