Major League Baseball and AstroTurf have signed an agreement making AstroTurf baseball’s official provider of synthetic turf. This can be seen on the AstroTurf at the Rogers Center in Toronto which now sports the AstroTurf logo in foul territory (via ESPN).
This is significant for the Rays as they represent the only other team in baseball that plays on artificial turf now that the Twins are back on grass. But the playing surface at Tropicana Field is FieldTurf.
Will the Rays be forced to switch to AstroTurf based on this agreement? Not necessarily.
When we asked the Rays about the agreement, the team responded that they are “studying the possibility of AstroTurf’s offer,” but that a decision has yet be made. If the Rays do choose to make the switch, the new turf would be installed in either January or February of next year.
Still, we have to assume that Major League Baseball will lean on the Rays to make the switch. Otherwise, being the “official provider” won’t mean much if only half of the turf teams are using the product.