Considered a positive step forward, a meeting between Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred and Players Association executive director Tony Clark has only led to more confusion and accusations.
On the heels of the in-person sit-down in Arizona, the league presented the union with yet another proposal for the 2020 regular season. Among other details, it called for players to receive full prorated salaries for 60 games, an expanded postseason and universal designated hitter.
An initial report indicated MLB and the MLBPA were close to an agreement, though that was refuted shortly thereafter. On Thursday, the Players Association presented a counter for a 70-game season.
“We delivered to Major League Baseball today a counterproposal based on a 70-game regular season which, among a number of issues, includes expanded playoffs for both 2020 and 2021,” Clark said in a statement. “We believe this offer represents the basis for an agreement on resumption of play.”
That immediately was met by pushback from team owners as they believed discussions between Manfred and Clark at the beginning of the week concluded with the basis of an agreement being set. Specifically that the 2020 regular season would total 60 games at full prorated pay.
“In my discussions with Rob in Arizona we explored a potential pro rata framework, but I made clear repeatedly in that meeting and after it that there were a number of significant issues with what he proposed, in particular the number of games,” Clark said in a second statement.
“It is unequivocally false to suggest that any tentative agreement or other agreement was reached in that meeting. In fact, 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.”
The differing opinions and interpretations of the meeting are reminiscent of what’s held true with the March 26 agreement. Alas, that is a driving factor behind MLB and the MLBPA finding themselves in the ongoing saga.
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