A typical Major League Baseball season consists of each team playing 162 games. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, that won't be possible. In 2020, each team will be playing just 60 games, which will be the shortest season since 1878.

With Major League Baseball having a smaller schedule for the 2020 season, it is the right time to experiment and test things out to see what works at the games' world stage and what doesn't. Most of the rules that are being implemented are being made explicitly for the shortened 2020 season, but if some rules workout, it's a possibility that they could be implemented for future seasons.

Here are the rule changes being made for the 2020 season.

Trade deadline

In a typical season, the trade deadline is set for July 31. From Opening Day to the trade deadline, it gives teams half a season to determine where they're at as the trade deadline nears. For the 2020 season, the trade deadline will be pushed back a month to August 31, which will only give teams a month and a bit of games to determine if they're buyers or sellers. With minimal games, it will be a lot tougher for teams to determine if they should go for it or trade away players for future assets, especially for teams bubbling around .500.


With the majority of players being unable to do baseball activities, to start off the season, rosters will consist of 30 players.

Once two weeks of the season passes, two players will have to be omitted from the roster to narrow it down to 28. Roughly two weeks later, another two players will be omitted from the roster to get it to 26, which was the original plan heading into the full 2020 season.

On-road trips, teams will be allowed to bring three players with them deemed as the "taxi squad." These players can replace players on the active roster in case of injury or poor performance.

This is beneficial for this season as with the minor league season being canceled, and there would be no one to call up. If a team decides to bring a taxi squad on road trips, one of the three spots must go to a catcher.

While the 40 man roster will remain in place, there will be a taxi squad of 20 players who teams can choose from to bring as the three-man taxi squad roster on road trips or to choose from to call up when the team is at home.

In order for a player to be eligible for the playoffs, they must be deemed on the roster by September 15.

Lastly, players who are deemed at high risk of contracting the virus are allowed to sit out the season and be guaranteed pay. Team doctors are the ones that determine who is at high risk. Also, players with family members that could be at high risk of contracting the virus can sit out to protect their family members but in this case, players may not be guaranteed salary.

The game

For the first time in baseball history, there will be a designated hitter in both the American and National League.

If a game gets to extra innings, in order to speed it up, a runner will start on second. This runner would be the last player to get out the previous inning.

If the runner on second ends up scoring, it would not be charged as an earned run to the pitcher. This practice has been used in the World Baseball Classic and recently in the minor leagues.


As the schedule will only be 60 games for each team, it's going to look a little different. 40 of the 60 games will come against divisional opponents meaning each team will play teams from their division 10 times. The other 20 games will come against geographical opponents who will differ from each side.

For example, the Blue Jays will play ten games each against the Rays, Orioles, Yankees, and Red Sox. As they play the Phillies every even calendar year, they will play six games against the Phillies, with the remaining 14 games being spread out to play the Mets, Braves, Marlins, and Nationals.

While the schedule hasn't been released yet, Opening Day is expected to take place on July 23 or 24.

2019 after 60 games

Here is what the playoff picture would look like after 60 games in the 2019 season:

American League

AL East: Yankees (38-22)

AL Central: Twins (40-20)

AL West: Astros (40-20)

AL Wild card: Rangers (32-38) vs Rays (37-23)

National League

NL East: Braves and Phillies would have to play a tiebreaker game as both finished with a record of 37-23 after 60 games

NL Central: Brewers and Cardinals would have to play a tiebreaker game as both finished with a record of 34-26 after 60 games

NL West: Dodgers (41-19)

NL Wild card: Loser of NL Central game vs loser of NL East game

Other notes after 60 games in 2019

- 2019 Word Series Champions Washington Nationals were 27-33 after 60 games placing them fourth in their division and out of the playoff picture

- Indians, Athletics and Diamondbacks all were 30-30 after 60 games in 2019

- Orioles and Royals both had the worst record after 60 games going 19-41