MLB reportedly finalizing revised Grapefruit League schedule, placing teams in separate “pods”

Andres Chavez

There are only nine days left until pitchers and catchers report to start warming up those arms in preparation for the 2021 MLB spring training. After the delayed start last season due to COVID-19 and an ugly spat between the league and the players’ union, the expectation this time is that spring training goes as planned, with enhanced safety protocols.

As it turns out, and as several reporters explained on Monday morning, MLB is in the process of finalizing a revised Grapefruit League schedule. The intention of this is to minimize the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak as much as possible.

Teams will be placed in separate pods on East and West coasts of Florida, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

The West coast teams in Florida will play 28 games, while the East coast teams in the state will play 24 games and four additional intrasquad matchups to make up for the missing four games.

MLB is trying to start with the right foot

If the MLB revised spring training schedule ends up happening, the New York Yankees would play lots of games against the Philadelphia Phillies, the Toronto Blue Jays, the Detroit Tigers, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and other East coast teams, as Bryan Hoch explains.

MLB owners recently approached the MLB players association with a plan to play 154 games and a delayed start of the season (in late April) but the union turned it down, even though it included pay for the whole 162 games.

After the players rejected the proposal, MLB released a statement that confirmed the season is going to start as originally planned.

“We are moving forward and instructing our Clubs to report for an on-time start to Spring Training and the Championship Season, subject to reaching an agreement on health and safety protocols,” the statement read.

Will MLB achieve its objective of completing the 2021 season without any complications due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic?