MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred Expects Counterproposal That ‘Moves In The Players’ Direction’ But Deems Full Prorated Salaries For 89-Game Season ‘Unrealistic’
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

While the return of Major League Baseball in some sense figures to be around the corner after a three-month hiatus due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it has not happened without some controversy.

Team owners and the MLB Players Association have been negotiating for weeks, and all of the issues seem to be around money, with health and safety taking a backseat. Due to an agreement that was put in place in March, players are maintaining they want full prorated salaries for the 2020 season.

Their most recent proposal was for 89 games, although that was quickly rejected due to the length as the league is concerned about a second wave of the coronavirus as well as TV deals that call for the postseason to take place in October no matter what.

MLB’s previous proposal was for 76 games with players making 75% of their prorated salaries, so it doesn’t seem that the sides are too far off. In an interview with MLB Network’s Tom Verducci before the start of the 2020 MLB Draft, commissioner Rob Manfred said owners are sending a counterproposal that will close the gap, but he also suggested what the MLBPA is seeking is unfeasible:

“We will be making a response to the proposal, we’ll make a counterproposal shortly. It will be a proposal that once again moves in the players’ direction in terms of the salary issue and we’re hoping it’s a proposal that will elicit reciprocal movement from the players’ side. That they’ll get off the 100% salary demand and recognize that 89 games in this point in the calendar and in the pandemic is just not realistic.”

Manfred did also add he is 100% certain there will be an MLB season in 2020. Of course, a reason for that is he has the ability to implement a season of any length that he chooses. He is giving the two sides an opportunity to come to an agreement, but if they are unable to then he will likely impose a shorter season of 50 games or so with players making full prorated salaries.

It will be interesting to see how close in the players’ direction the league’s next offer is considering that will likely determine if they are able to come to an agreement or if Manfred needs to take over.

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