The MLB will hold its first remote draft next month. According to a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan on Twitter, the league will hold its draft remotely in June for the first time in its history. Day 1 of the draft is set to take place on June 10 and will include the first round of picks. June 11 will be the second day of the draft and will feature rounds two through five. Day 1 will begin at 7 p.m. ET, and Day 2 will begin at 5 p.m. ET. The draft will feature 160 picks in total.
The draft will be held entirely via video conference, and teams are currently not allowed to have draft rooms. During the drafts, the head of operations for each of the league’s 30 teams will be on camera with no audio. After the draft is over, each team will be allowed to pick an unlimited number of players for up to $20,000.
Last month, the NFL announced that it would also be holding its draft virtually. The draft aired in April, and despite concerns about technical difficulties, it came together smoothly. The NFL draft was originally slated to be held in Las Vegas.
The announcement of the MLB’s virtual draft comes as the league considers resuming its season in July. On Monday, the league approved a plan that would allow the athletes to play about half of a regular season, and would only allow them to travel locally.
If the plan moves forward, the MLB would be the first major league sporting series to return following the coronavirus pandemic. The plan also includes a 50-50 revenue split with the league’s players.
ESPN reported that the MLB Players Association is likely to reject the proposed revenue split and counter with an earlier agreement to prorate players’ salaries based on the number of games that they play.
Even as professional sports leagues begin to plan their returns, the nation’s top health experts have urged caution around bringing sporting events back too soon.
In an interview with The New York Times at the end of April, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that some sports may have to skip a season.
“If we let our desire to prematurely get back to normal, we can only get ourselves right back in the same hole we were in a few weeks ago…. I would love to be able to have all sports back. But as a health official and a physician and a scientist, I have to say, right now, when you look at the country, we’re not ready for that yet,” Fauci said.