MLB Officials and Players Association representatives reached an agreement for player health and safety protocols in the 2021 season on Monday.
The agreement is similar to the rules and guidelines created for 2020, which saw seven inning double headers and runners on second base to start extra innings. The agreement did not include the experimental double hitter rule, which was a part of last seasons agreement.
The spring training season will begin on February 17th, with the season opening on April 1st. This comes after a proposal from the MLB to delay spring training and the season opener until April 28th. The players union denied this request, which would have had teams playing 154 games total in the season rather than 162.
Players and staff alike have welcomed the agreement, with many saying that the 2020 rules helped to make up for lost time due to COVID-19 delays and restrictions.
Official statements from the MLB and Players Association ensure that new COVID contact tracing measures will be in place, as well as further league rules to comply with COVID-19 protocols.