Another day, another rejected proposal for a 2020 MLB season; with the commissioner Rob Manfred and the owners saying no to the MLBPA’s latest offer.
The union’s offer of 70-games, full prorated salaries and expanded playoffs comes just a couple of days after a meeting between Manfred and union leader Tony Clark met to work out some differences in Phoenix, Arizona.
“We believe this offer represents the basis for an agreement on a resumption of play,” said Clark of the latest proposal.
Other details of the proposal include the following:
- Spring training to begin June 26-28.
- Full service and salary for players who are high-risk and those who live with high-risk individuals and wish to opt-out.
- $10 million for social justice initiatives (funded from welfare plan).
- Universal designated hitter in 2020 and 2021
“This needs to be over,” said Manfred of the brutal back-and-forth between the two parties. “Until I speak with owners, I can’t give you a firm deadline.”
“In conversations within the last 24 hours, Rob invited a counterproposal for more games that he would take back to the owners. We submitted that counterproposal today,” said Clark.
“Dr. Fauci’s out there telling us that football should [be] playing in a quarantine. The other two sports are playing in a quarantine,” he said. “Our guys want nothing to do with that. No. 2, Fauci says we shouldn’t be playing in October, and their proposal contemplates lengthening the season.”
Better than Nothing
While it appears there is still some distance between MLB and MLBPA; prospects for a 2020 season are much more promising than just last weekend.
In an interview broadcast during the abbreviated 2020 draft, Manfred guaranteed baseball this season. But days later, MLBPA rejected an offer from the owners and decided further discussions were pointless.
Instead, Clark said “It’s time to get back to work. Tell us when and where,” referring to the March 26 agreement allowing Manfred to unilaterally implement a season of any length.
This apparently wasn’t the reaction MLB was hoping for; as the league responded by sending Manfred out to turn on his head. On Monday he said he wasn’t at all confident in a season happening.
“I’m not confident. I think there’s real risk, and as long as there’s no dialogue, that real risk is going to continue,” he said. This abrupt and utter about-face angered many of the league’s biggest stars; prompting them to echo Clark’s sentiment of “tell us when and where,” on social media.
If a deal can’t be reached, the most likely outcome is Manfred implementing a league with a length of approximately 50 games with players receiving full prorated salaries.
With no fans in attendance owners are worried about taking losses of more than $100 million in revenue from tickets, concessions and merchandise sold at stadiums. As a result, the owners hoped to lean on their players to ease the burden further.
But after agreeing to prorated salaries based on the number of games played in March, the MLBPA wasn’t interested in sacrificing any more salary. As this has been the major stick in the mud between the two sides; solving the compensation dilemma will go a long way towards setting a season.