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Report: MLB to still have trade deadline in shortened season

MLB is set to have a 60-game season, and we’re finding out some key dates.

Manager Dave Martinez of the Washington Nationals talks with General Manager Mike Rizzo before the game against the Kansas City Royals at Nationals Park on July 7, 2019 in Washington, DC. Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Major League Baseball is close to finalizing plans to get a 60-game season started the weekend of July 24th, and the rules for this shortened schedule are slowly trickling out.

The Athletic’s Jayson Stark is tweeting out information, and there are some notable dates on the calendar between now and August 31st.

Fri June 26: Transactions freeze ends at noon ET
Sun June 28: Teams must submit 60-man player pool names by 3 p.m.
Mon Aug 31: Trade deadline

The idea of trades happening in the midst of a pandemic is a little difficult to swallow. Players are already going to be exposed to the virus in their home cities and with their teammates when they’re flying for road trips. Now a player and potentially his family as well might be uprooted amidst all this? Even without Covid-19, an August 31st trade deadline in a 60-game season would seemingly leave too little time for most teams to be comfortable doing a deal.

In the meantime, there is also talk of replacement player options. Stark is reporting each team could take a taxi squad of three players on the road, but there is talk of MLB having two teams of unsigned players in Nashville. They could play each other, and as teams deal with positive Covid-19 tests, they could sign players off one of those rosters.