The Giants and A's reportedly then could make trades for the next two months.
Aug. 31 would mark the trade deadline during a 2020 season delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, The Athletic's Jayson Stark reported Tuesday, citing sources.
There will be a trade deadline this season, sources say. It will be Aug. 31.— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) June 23, 2020
July 23 or July 24 would be Opening Day, meaning that players traded on the day of the deadline would be dealt little more than a month after the season began. The lead-up to the trade deadline isn't exactly a representative sample size as part of a 162-game season, let alone in one with 102 fewer games.
Teams, then, will be making valuations and trades with far less in-season information. As a result, it remains to be seen how aggressive front offices will be. The season's length means 2020 will be remembered with an asterisk, so it's fair to wonder if the Giants should expect a lesser haul if, as sellers, they trade pending free agents, and if the A's might be more likely to hang on to various prospects in pursuit of a title that always will have caveats.
Of course, the coronavirus-caused caveats extend far beyond the baseball diamond, with people across the country and around the world living far different lives than expected this year due to the virus. The pandemic inevitably will make the trade deadline even more logistically difficult for players, who could be with their new teams for a little more than a month. The CDC still recommends international travelers self-isolate for 14 days upon returning to the United States; what happens if the contending A's acquire a player from the Toronto Blue Jays?
Those questions presumably will be answered when the particular health and safety protocols are revealed. Nevertheless, MLB's reported trade deadline date continues to drive home how different baseball's first season of the decade will feel.