Major League Baseball and the Major League Players Association reached a tentative agreement Thursday evening on key economic issues in hopes of salvaging the majority of the 162-game season, according to an executive with direct knowledge of the negotiations, even if it means playing the World Series in late November.

Major League Baseball owners will vote Friday to officially ratify the agreement, two executives with knowledge of the negotiations told USA TODAY Sports. The two executives spoke only on the condition of anonymity since the deal has not been finalized.

The deal includes a commitment from MLB and the players to play as close to a full regular-season schedule as possible, with games in October and a postseason in November, providing the COVID-19 crisis dissipates and permits them to even start a season.

The two sides would like to play at least 100 games, with the hopes of playing as many as possible, scheduling regular-season games through October and including weekly doubleheaders. They have also discussed the idea of expanding the current playoff format to help offset the loss of income, while acknowledging that if cold weather becomes an issue in November, they could move the World Series and playoff series from cold-weather cities to a neutral site.

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View of National Park before Game 4 of the 2019 NLCS between the St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Nationals.

The biggest issue in the negotiations was service time, and the two sides agreed that if there’s a season of any length, players would receive credit for a full year as if it was a regular 162-game season. And if the season is canceled, players will receive the same service time they accrued in 2019.

This means that Los Angeles Dodgers All-Star outfielder Mookie Betts, who was acquired along with former Cy Young winner David Price in February from the Boston Red Sox, could be a free agent without playing a single regular-season game for the Dodgers.

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