NEW YORK — Replay reviews could vanish in Major League Baseball in 2020 as part of a deal that covers how umpires would be paid for a season shortened or wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic.

The sides struck an agreement late Thursday night, two people told The Associated Press. They spoke Friday on condition of anonymity because there was no official announcement.

Umps are guaranteed 50% of their salaries for May, but would be paid nothing else if no games are played in 2020. Umpires generally make between $150,000 and $450,000.

The start of the season has been postponed because of the virus outbreak and there is no timetable for opening day. If baseball is permitted to proceed this year, MLB is considering playing regular-season games at spring training ballparks in Arizona and Florida that are not wired for replay.

The new agreement gives MLB the right to not use instant replays of umpires’ decisions during the 2020 season. Most calls have been subject to video review since 2014 and it’s become a big part of games, with about half the challenged calls resulting in a reversal.

Umpires will be paid a pro-rated share of their salaries based on games over a 182-day season, according to a copy of the four-page term sheet obtained by The Associated Press.

In a statement, the MLB umpires’ union said it was “pleased” to reach this agreement with the commissioner’s office.

In December, the umpires and MLB reached a deal to run through the 2024 season. As part of that agreement, umps agreed to cooperate with MLB in the development and testing of an automated ball-strike system.

Spring training began in late February, but exhibition games in Arizona and Florida were halted in mid-March because of the virus outbreak. Computerized strike zones weren’t used during the exhibitions.


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