MLBPA chief Tony Clark said last week that while players would much rather play in front of fans than empty ballparks, they were open to whatever would get the season started the soonest -- including playing without fans.
And with the city of Toronto announcing Tuesday that it has banned all public events through June 30 due to the coronavirus pandemic, it's nearly impossible to imagine the 2020 MLB season starting with fans in attendance.
Asked what the ban means for sports, Toronto Mayor John Tory said "the city's decision provides clear direction to event organizers."
Earlier Tuesday, Joel Sherman of the New York Post cited two league sources who believed opening in empty ballparks seemed likely.
"By a matter of weeks, we will be able to play games without crowds [before we can play games] with them," one source said.
Another told Sherman "I think the only way we play, at least initially, is without fans."
When the MLB and MLBPA agreed last week on a deal that partially revolved around how the season might look if/when it resumed, it was reported that a shortened season could include an expanded playoff field and playing at neutral sites and/or in front of no fans for a period of time.
In Canada, their known positive cases of coronavirus are a shade above 8,000 -- a much different circumstance than the United States, where known positive cases as of Tuesday afternoon were 181,099.
The earliest start date for the regular season remains May 10.