High-profile MLB agent Casey Wasserman met with team executives at this week’s owners’ meetings about the potential for MLB players to participate in the 2028 Summer Olympics, reports Evan Drellich of the Athletic. While that push is in the very early stages, Drellich adds that some owners are “increasingly supportive” of the idea of sending big leaguers to the ’28 games in Los Angeles.
Baseball returned to the Olympics for the 2020 event in Tokyo (played in ’21 because of the pandemic). It is not on the docket for this year’s festivities in Paris. Baseball will return for the 2028 Summer Olympics, but it’s unclear whether MLB players would be allowed to participate. Players on a 40-man roster were not included for the 2020 Olympic festivities.
There seems at least some appetite to allowing MLB players to participate four years from now. Drellich notes that the success of the World Baseball Classic has assuaged some concerns about allowing MLB players to partake in international competition (although the most recent WBC obviously wasn’t without a couple serious injuries).
The most significant difference between the WBC and the Olympics is the timing. The World Baseball Classic is in March. The Olympics are scheduled to run from July 14 to 30, although baseball likely wouldn’t run for the full two weeks. The Olympics could partially overlap with the All-Star Break, allowing MLB to substitute those for the Midsummer Classic that year.
Nothing is set in stone. Even if MLB were on-board, there are other hurdles. The Players Association would need to sign off. MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said in a statement that “The (MLBPA) would be willing to listen to any formal proposal related to baseball and the Olympics” (relayed by Drellich). There’d also be logistics to sort out with the International Olympic Committee. This far in advance, it’s a situation worth monitoring.