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MLB commissioner confident players, owners will reach agreement to return to action

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred is confident owners and players will agree to return to work and play an 82-game regular-season schedule.

League taking measures to make games as safe as possible

Commissioner Rob Manfred says he is 'hopeful we will have some Major League Baseball this summer' and outlined the measures the league is taking to ensure safety. (LM Otero/The Associated Press)

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred is confident owners and players will agree to return to work and play an 82-game regular-season schedule.

But the commissioner cautioned any and all plans are dependent upon the coronavirus pandemic and global health crisis still rocking the United States.

Manfred said it's still not clear that it's safe for players and employees to return to work.

Manfred made the comments as part of a townhall meeting on CNN discussing COVID-19 and the domestic efforts to contain the spread of the virus while rebuilding a shattered economy.

WATCH | Rob Manfred on economic effects of the pandemic:

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred tells CNN the economic effects from COVID-19 could be "devastating." 2:16

He said he is "hopeful we will have some Major League Baseball this summer" and outlined the measures the league is taking to make it as safe as possible when games are played.

Financial discussions are looming. Manfred said there is no "fight" about splitting revenues regardless of what is being portrayed. He said that discussion is still to come, and expects a quick resolution for the better.

"Whenever there's a discussion about economics, people characterize it as a fight," he said. "I have great confidence we'll reach agreement with the players association ... on making it safe to come back to work and the economic issues involved."

Testing plan

A lab in Utah will handle multiple tests per week for every player in a deal made directly with MLB. If a player tests positive, MLB will not shut down, Manfred said. Instead, the player will be quarantined until he tests negative for COVID-19 twice in 24 hours.

"Our experts are advising us that we don't need a 14-day quarantine," Manfred said. "The positive individual will be removed from the group, quarantined, then contact tracing with the individual and point of care testing with the individuals to minimize the chance there's been a spread."

ICYMI | Dear sports:

CBC Sports partnered with The Gist to have fans submit sports videos off their phone. We all miss sports, and can't wait for them to come back. 2:42

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