UPDATE 3/12/2020 3:30 PM ET – Major League Baseball released the following statement confirming it will delay Opening Day by two weeks and cancel all remaining spring training games.
The statement reads, “Following a call with the 30 clubs, and after consultation with the Major League Baseball Players Association, Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr. today announced that MLB has decided to suspend Spring Training games and to delay the start of the 2020 regular season by at least two weeks due to the national emergency created by the coronavirus pandemic. This action is being taken in the interests of the safety and well-being of our players, clubs and our millions of loyal fans.
MLB will continue to evaluate ongoing events leading up to the start of the season. Guidance related to daily operations and workouts will be relayed to Clubs in the coming days. As of 4 p.m. ET today, forthcoming Spring Training games have been cancelled, and 2020 World Baseball Classic Qualifier games in Tucson, Ariz., have been postponed indefinitely.
MLB and the clubs have been preparing a variety of contingency plans regarding the 2020 regular season schedule. MLB will announce the effects on the schedule at an appropriate time and will remain flexible as events warrant, with the hope of resuming normal operations as soon as possible.
Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our players, employees and fans. MLB will continue to undertake the precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts. We send our best wishes to all individuals and communities that have been impacted by coronavirus.”
Multiple reports have said that Major League Baseball will suspend all Spring Training, beginning Saturday, and that the start of the 2020 season will be delayed.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan was among those to report on the MLB conference call about the coronavirus-related changes.
Opening day for all 30 Major League Baseball teams was set to be March 26, but now that date appears likely to change. The league is suspending all baseball operations temporarily.