PREVIEW: 2020 Major League Baseball Draft

There have been no regular season Major League Baseball games in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic but the annual MLB Draft will take place on June 10 and 11 in a scaled-down version that will see just five rounds take place instead of the usual 40.

The Detroit Tigers hold the first overall selection with the Toronto Blue Jays holding the fifth overall pick.

Baseball Canada will be provide live updates each time a Canadian-born player gets selected on our Twitter (@baseballcanada), Instagram (baseballcanada) and Facebook pages with a recap of the day’s action on

WHAT: The annual Major League Baseball Draft (or Rule 4 Draft) gets underway on Wednesday (7pm ET MLB Network/ with the first 37 selections (First Round, Competitive Balance Round A) and continues Thursday with the second through fifth rounds. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, MLB has reduced the 2020 Draft to five rounds, down from the usual 40 rounds.

WHO: There are generally three groups of players that are eligible for the MLB Draft:

  • High school players, if they have graduated from high school and have not yet attended college or junior college;
  • College players, from four-year colleges who have either completed their junior or senior years or are at least 21 years old; and
  • Junior college players, regardless of how many years of school they have completed

Countries eligible for the draft include Canada, Puerto Rico, the United States and US territories. Players from other countries are considered international free agents and must adhere to MLB’s international signing rules.

HOW TO FOLLOW: MLB Network/TSN 3/ will carry the first 37 selections live Wednesday from their studio in Secaucus, New Jersey beginning at 7pm ET…MLB Network/TSN 2/ will carry rounds two through five on Thursday beginning at 5PM ET…Live coverage of all five rounds along with a Draft Tracker will be available at…Baseball Canada will be provide live updates each time a Canadian-born player gets selected on our Twitter (@baseballcanada), Instagram (baseballcanada) and Facebook pages with a recap of the day’s action on



  • Canada has been a “draft region” since 1991. Prior to that, Canadians playing in Canada were Free Agents, while Canadians playing at US Colleges or Universities were eligible for the draft.
  • ​​​​​​​The first player drafted out of Canada was Jason Wuersch from Leamington, Ontario when the New York Yankees used their 11th round selection (282nd overall) to take the outfielder in 1991.A record 48 Canadians were selected in the 2002 MLB First-Year Player Draft, marking the highest total since Canadians became eligible for the draft in 1991.
  • The 2002 draft produced the highest ever selection for a Canadian born player as the Baltimore Orioles selected Surrey, BC native Adam Loewen with the fourth overall selection. The 2002 draft also produced the highest number of Canadians who went on to play in the big leagues including Jeff Francis (Rockies), Joey Votto (Reds), Jesse Crain (Twins), Chris Leroux (Devil Rays), David Davidson (Pirates), Luke Carlin (Tigers), Scott Mathieson (Phillies), Russell Martin (Dodgers), George Kottaras (Padres) and Chris Robinson (Mets).
  • Ten years ago, in 2010, there were 31 Canadians selected in the MLB Draft headlined by Kellin Deglan, a catcher from Langley, BC who went in the first round (22nd overall) to the Texas Rangers, current New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton, who was a fourth round selection of the Seattle Mariners and former Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Dalton Pompey who was taken in the 16th round.
  • In 2019, 20 Canadians were selected in the MLB draft led by Junior National Team outfielder Dasan Brown (Oakville, ON) who was the first Canadian chose when the Toronto Blue Jays used their third round selection on him, 88th overall.
  • Since 1999, players that have played with the Junior National Team program have accounted for 368 draft selections.


Canadians on Baseball America’s Top 500 draft prospects list:

#67 OF David Calabrese (Maple, ON) Junior National Team
#140 SS Trei Cruz (Toronto, ON) Rice University*
#180 OF Owen Caissie (Burlington, ON) Junior National Team
#197 OF Jordan Nwogu (Ottawa, ON) University of Michigan*
#248 RHP Noah Skirrow (Stoney Creek, ON) Liberty University
#402 RHP Theo Millas (Burnaby, BC) Junior National Team
#413 OF Jason Willow (Victoria, BC) UC Santa Barbara
#414 OF Cooper Davis (Mississauga, ON) Vanderbilt University
#417 RHP Calvin Ziegler (Heidelberg, ON) Junior National Team
#454 RHP Jack Seward (Coquitlam, BC) Junior National Team
#466 RHP Carter Loewen (Abbotsford, BC) University of Hawaii
#478 RHP Logan Hofmann (Muenster, SK) Northwestern State

*Canadian born but resides outside of Canada

Canadians on Top 200 draft prospects list:

#75 Owen Caissie
#97 David Calabrese
#108 Jordan Nwogu
#126 Trei Cruz

Canadian Baseball Network Top 5 Canadians:

#1 Owen Caissie
#2 Jordan Nwogu
#3 David Calabrese
#4 Noah Skirrow
#5 Calvin Ziegler

Keith Law’s (The Athletic) Top 100 Draft Prospects

#19 David Calabrese
#68 Jordan Nwogu

MLS to Resume Season at ESPN Wide World of Sports Starting July 8


MLS is Back:  All 26 Teams to Resume Season at ESPN Wide World of Sports Starting July 8

  • Unique tournament to feature games that will count in regular season standings
  • Tournament winner will earn spot in 2021 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League
  • Extensive medical protocols with regular testing will be implemented for the tournament
  • MLS is Back Tournament to feature 16 consecutive days of soccer during the group stage

NEW YORK & LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla.  (Wednesday, June 10, 2020) – Major League Soccer today announced the league’s plan to restart the 2020 season with all 26 MLS clubs competing in the MLS is Back Tournament at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida beginning July 8. The tournament, which will be played without fans in attendance, provides a compelling way for MLS to resume its 25th season.  Group stage matches will count in the MLS regular season standings and the tournament winner will earn a spot in the 2021 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League. 

“We are pleased to team up with Disney to relaunch the 2020 MLS season and get back to playing soccer,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber.  “The opportunity to have all 26 clubs in a controlled environment enables us to help protect the health of our players, coaches and staff as we return to play. We also recognize that the death of George Floyd and others has focused our country on issues of racial injustice, inequality and violence against black men and women. Together with our owners, players and staff, the League and its Clubs are deeply committed to creating meaningful and impactful programs to address these issues that have plagued our society for far too long.”  

Major League Soccer has a longstanding relationship with ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.  The league held its 1998 preseason at the complex, and hosted events for the 1998 and 2019 MLS All-Star Games at the facilities.

“Sports have the power to unify and inspire, particularly during challenging times,” said Josh D’Amaro, chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. “And we’re looking forward to bringing this exciting sport back to millions of fans, while prioritizing the health and well-being of the players, coaches and support staff as well as our cast members.” 


Clubs will begin arriving in Orlando as early as June 24 for preseason training.  Clubs that can conduct full team training in their markets pursuant to the league’s medical and testing protocols must arrive no later than seven days before their first match. 

Similar to a FIFA World Cup format, the tournament will feature a continuous schedule of matches nearly every day, with games beginning at 9 a.m., 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. EDT. The vast majority of the matches will be played in the evening.  Each team will play three group stage matches, and those results will count in the 2020 MLS regular season standings.  After 16 consecutive days of group stage matches, the top two teams from each group along with the four best third-place finishers will move on to the knockout stage. The knockout stage will include a Round-of-16, Quarterfinals, Semifinals, and the Championship match will take place on August 11. Matches tied at the end of regulation in the knock-out phase will proceed directly to a penalty kick shootout. Click HERE for the MLS is Back Tournament Competition Guidelines.

MLS worked with U.S. Soccer, Canada Soccer and Concacaf to institute a one-time change to MLS berths to the annual Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League. The MLS is Back Tournament winner will earn a spot in the 2021 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League, regardless of whether it is a U.S. or Canadian club. The winner would replace the berth previously awarded to the MLS regular season points leader in the conference opposite of the 2020 Supporters’ Shield winner.

In addition to matches that count in the regular season standings and the Champions League berth, players will have the opportunity to earn additional bonuses as part of a $1.1 million prize pool.

The substitution limit for the tournament will follow the new protocol set by the IFAB and allow five substitutions per match. In addition, teams may name up to 23 players on each official match day roster. Also, the Professional Referees Organization (PRO) will have access to video review for all games.

For the MLS is Back Tournament, the 26 MLS teams will be drawn into one of six groups during a live draw that will take place tomorrow, Thursday, June 11 at 3:30 p.m. EDT. For the remainder of the 2020 MLS season, Nashville SC will be moved to the Eastern Conference. The Eastern Conference will have three groups, one consisting of six teams and two consisting of four teams each. The Western Conference will have three groups, each consisting of four teams.

As the host club, Orlando City SC will be given the top seed in Group A, which will be the six-team group, and will play in the first match on July 8.  The five remaining seeds will consist of the four semifinalists from the 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs – Atlanta United, Los Angeles Football Club, Seattle Sounders FC, Toronto FC – and Real Salt Lake (the team with the next highest points total in the Western Conference from the 2019 season).  The seeded teams will be drawn into their respective groups first and then the remaining 20 clubs will be drawn and distributed across the conference-based groups.

In addition, the tournament schedule, national television partner networks, and other important details for the MLS is Back Tournament will be provided soon.

Upon completion of the MLS is Back Tournament, MLS plans to continue its regular season with a revised schedule in home markets, followed by the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs and the 25th MLS Cup. The schedule will be developed at a later date. The final number of matches and the schedule for the remainder of the 2020 MLS regular season will be announced in the coming weeks.

The MLS medical department and the league’s infectious disease experts have developed a comprehensive COVID-19 testing plan which will be implemented for the entire MLS is Back Tournament.  An overview of health, safety and medical protocols can be found HERE.  In addition, MLS will make a contribution of serology (antibody) tests to Central Florida residents beginning June 18.


June 24: Teams begin arriving in Florida 

July 8: MLS is Back Tournament group stage begins

July 25-28: Round-of-16

July 30- Aug. 1: Quarterfinals

August 5-6: Semifinals

August 11: MLS is Back Tournament Final

MLS IS BACK TOURNAMENT – July 8 – August 11

Number of Matches:   54 (39 group; 15 knockout)

No. of matchdays:       26

Format:                        Group Stage, followed by Round-of-16, Quarterfinals, Semifinals &

                                   Championship match

Minimum Matches:      3 (per club)

Maximum Matches:    7 (per club)

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

MLB: Players make counteroffer to start delayed season, but owners expected to say no — Times-Standard

By RONALD BLUM NEW YORK — Baseball players moved toward teams but remained far apart economically in their latest proposal for starting the pandemic-delayed season, adamant they receive full prorated salaries while offering to cut the regular season to 89 games. The proposal by the players’ association, given to Major League Baseball electronically Tuesday evening…

MLB: Players make counteroffer to start delayed season, but owners expected to say no — Times-Standard


NEW YORK  — Baseball players moved toward teams but remained far apart economically in their latest proposal for starting the pandemic-delayed season, adamant they receive full prorated salaries while offering to cut the regular season to 89 games.

The proposal by the players’ association, given to Major League Baseball electronically Tuesday evening without a negotiating session, was detailed to The Associated Press by a pair of people familiar with the negotiations. They spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcements were authorized.

MLB did not appear to view the proposal as productive but made no comment. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported that one ownership source’s reaction to the proposal was, “We’re nowhere.”

Players made their move one day after management cut its proposed schedule from 82 games to 76. The union proposed the regular season start July 10 and end Oct. 11 — the day before a possible Game 7 of the NBA Finals.

The union accepted MLB’s plan to expand the postseason from 10 teams to as many as 16. However, if management announces a schedule without an agreement, it would not be able to alter the established postseason format.

The players’ plan would have the World Series end in mid-to-late November, and players said they would accept MLB’s proposal to have the ability to shift postseason games to neutral sites.

Teams say they fear a second wave of the coronavirus and do not want to extend the World Series past October. Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem told the union a 76-game schedule could not be staged unless players agreed to a deal by Wednesday.

Players continue to insist on full prorated salaries as specified in the March 26 agreement between the perpetually feuding sides. The deal gave players service time in the event no games are played this year along with a $170 million salary advance.

MLB says that because the season likely would be played in empty ballparks without fans, the absence of gate-related revenue would lead to a loss of $640,000 for each additional game played, a figure the union questions. MLB’s proposal would guarantee players 50% of prorated salaries and another 20% if the postseason is completed, and teams would fund a $50 million pool for players’ postseason shares even if no or few tickets or sold. MLB also would forgive 20% of the salary advance.

Players had been set to earn about $4 billion in salaries this year before opening day was pushed back from March 26 due to the new coronavirus, and the union’s initial economic proposal on May 31 called for a 114-game schedule running through October and salaries totaling $2.8 billion. The shorter schedule in the new plan lowered the amount to about $2.2 billion.

MLB’s offer Monday was for just under $1.3 billion in salaries, but only about $1 billion would be guaranteed. The rest is contingent on the postseason’s completion.

Mike Trout and Gerrit Cole, the highest-paid players with $36 million salaries, would get $19,777,778 each under the union’s plan. MLB’s offer would guarantee each $8,723,967 with the chance to increase to $12,190,633 apiece if the postseason is completed.

A player at the $563,500 minimum would earn $309,577 under the union plan and up to $244,492 from MLB’s offer. Those at $1 million — about half those on current active rosters — would get $549,383 under the union proposal and up to $389,496 in the MLB formula.

A 50-game schedule with prorated salaries would total just over $1.2 billion and leave Cole and Trout at $11,111,111 each.

Players proposed that $5 million from joint management-union funds be marked toward supporting non-union minor leaguers and social causes. Players would agree to participate in events such as an offseason All-Star Game and/or Home Run Derby and to broadcast enhancements such as wearing microphones during games.

The union did not accept management’s offer to suspend free-agent compensation this offseason, which would eliminate the qualifying offers that cause some teams to decline to pursue players.

Players accepted MLB’s proposal that high-risk players could opt out of this season while receiving salary and service time, but that other players who opt

out would not receive salary or service time.

Report: MLBPA proposes 89-game season, expanded playoffs, full prorated salaries — HardballTalk | NBC Sports

The MLB players’ union sent another proposal to the owners, suggesting an 89-game regular season with expanded playoffs and full prorated salaries.

Report: MLBPA proposes 89-game season, expanded playoffs, full prorated salaries — HardballTalk | NBC Sports

TRAIKOS: Tavares determined to change his post-season narrative — Toronto Sun

With 24 teams in the mix for the Stanley Cup, the expectations might be different for the Toronto Maple Leafs when the post-season begins sometime this summer. But they haven’t changed one bit for John Tavares. Read More

TRAIKOS: Tavares determined to change his post-season narrative — Toronto Sun