With the likes of the NBA and NHL mapping out their respective returns, a significant disconnect still exists between Major League Baseball and the Players Association. The two parties being at odds has put a significant damper on what type of 2020 regular season will be played, if at all.
As MLB and the union have remained at odds over interpretation of language in a March 26 agreement, they have exchanged proposals and accused one another of failing to negotiate in good faith. The league’s rejection of the latest counteroffer from the MLBPA reportedly centered on six key details, including when the regular season would end.
However, the main point of contention appears to be centered around pay for players. The MLBPA continues to stand by their demand for full prorated salaries for 82 games, though they offered to play up to 114 games.
Despite indications they would not present the players with another proposal, MLB extended an olive branch of sorts. Their offer included 75% prorated salaries and eliminating the qualifying offer in free agency, according to ESPN’s Karl Ravech:
MLB has made proposal to Players. 75 percent Prorated salary. 76 game season. Playoff pool money. No draft pick compensation for signing player. Season finishes September 27th. Post season ends at end of October. Significant move towards players demands and effort to play more.
— Karl Ravech (@karlravechespn) June 8, 2020
Although MLB pitched 75% of salaries being paid, a portion of that would be contingent on the postseason being completed, per Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal:
Under this proposal, players would be guaranteed 50% of their prorated salaries. The rest is contingent upon the postseason being completed. https://t.co/OolNRKuThg
— Jared Diamond (@jareddiamond) June 8, 2020
Every indication is the MLBPA was hardly moved by the league’s latest offer. It has been perceived by most as simply rearranging the deck chairs.
When MLB offered a sliding scale of pay cuts for 82 games, it would have amounted to nearly 33% of salary being paid. That also holds true for playing 50 games at prorated pay, and under the latest offer of 76 games.
Should the two sides remain unable to find common ground, there is growing support MLB commissioner Rob Manfred will unilaterally impose a short (48 to 50 games) season with prorated pay. The players may not stage a lockout under that scenario, but could very well file a grievance.
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