Baseball’s extra-long off-season will last at least one more day for some teams, with rain postponing opening day in the Bronx and Minnesota and threatening to delay it elsewhere.
Rain was already falling in New York City on Wednesday, and more inclement weather was predicted for Thursday, prompting the Yankees to pre-emptively postpone Thursday’s opener against the Boston Red Sox. The game between the rival teams will now be played Friday, which had previously been scheduled as a day off.
The new opener is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. on Friday, and comes with the added benefit of giving the team one extra day to negotiate a contract extension with outfielder Aaron Judge. Judge, who can be a free agent after this season, has said he will not negotiate with the team once games begin.
Elsewhere, the Minnesota Twins called off Thursday’s opener against the Seattle Mariners because of rain, also pushing that game to Friday. That postponement will delay the much-anticipated debut of Mariners prospect Julio Rodriguez, whom Seattle had previously announced would be on the team’s opening day roster.
Opening day had originally been scheduled for May 31, but was pushed back when Major League Baseball and the players’ union failed to finish a new collective bargaining agreement before one of M.L.B.’s self-imposed deadlines. Commissioner Rob Manfred initially announced that the first week of play was entirely canceled, but after an agreement was reached between the two sides on March 10, opening day was set as April 7 for most teams, with a full 162-game season to be accomplished by having fewer off-days and scheduling some doubleheaders.
While no other games had been postponed as of Wednesday morning, the weather could potentially delay the Mets’ opener, which is a road game against the Washington Nationals, currently set for 4:05 p.m. on Thursday. Postponing that game would be more complicated as the teams are playing a four-game series and do not have Friday as a scheduled day off. If Thursday’s game is postponed it would require another doubleheader to be added to the already-compacted schedule.