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MLB, players union set terms for shortened season

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New York (AFP)

Major League Baseball and its players union have reached a deal on business issues ahead of a likely shortened 2020 season in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The MLB Players Association and team owners agreed upon salary terms and rescheduling plans but no start date has been set for this year's campaign, which could see the playoffs stretched deep into November in an unprecedented move.

The season was due to have opened on March 26.

After two weeks of talks, club owners and players agreed to stage as many games as possible toward a full 162-game schedule by going into October to finish the regular season.

The union approved the deal on Thursday while team owners approved the plan on Friday.

Playoff games could also be moved to neutral sites, a nod to staging games in warm-weather locations or domed stadiums.

Should the entire campaign be canceled, players would still receive time credit toward free agency, allowing star players such as Mookie Betts and Trevor Bauer to seek new deals late this year no matter what.

Betts, obtained by the Los Angeles Dodgers in an off-season trade with Boston, could become a free agent without ever playing a regular-season contest for the Dodgers.

Player suspensions of 80 games or less would be served this season if games are played. If not, such bans would not carry over to 2021.

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