Twins would play AL, NL Central teams in empty ballparks in MLB proposal approved by owners

Target Field. Photo credit: Greg Kellogg ( Greg Kellogg/FOX 9 photojournalist )

Major League Baseball took a big step Monday in potentially getting its regular season started as early as the first week of July.

MLB’s owners approved a proposal that will be sent to the players’ union that might mean the start of the regular season by July 1. The plan has teams playing in ballparks without fans, and expanding having a designated hitter for the National League for the 2020 season.

According to one report, Spring Training would restart in early or mid-June. Officials with MLB are expected to make the proposal to the players’ union on Tuesday.

It would include a roughly 80-game regular season with teams playing against opponents within their own division, and interleague match-ups limited to the same division. For the Minnesota Twins, that means the opponents would be the Indians, Tigers, Royals and White Sox, and in the National League, the Cardinals, Brewers, Cubs, Reds and Pirates. The Cardinals won the NL Central last year with a 91-71 record.

The MLB Playoffs would expand from 10 to 14 teams, and there would be four Wild Card teams in each league. The All-Star Game, scheduled for July 14 at Dodger Stadium, would likely be canceled.

Rosters would also expand from 26 to 30 players, and teams have the option to host Spring Training in Florida, Arizona or their home ballpark.

The Twins are coming off winning 101 games, winning their first AL Central title since 2010 and signing free agent slugger Josh Donaldson in the offseason.