As MLB’s shortened 2020 season squabbling enters it’s fifth week or so (it’s all a monotonous blur), this will they, won’t they frustration may soon be coming to an end.
Reports surfaced on Sunday that the MLBPA was in the middle of a conference call when director Tony Clark received a communication from MLB commissioner Rob Manfred.
In letter to Tony Clark today, Rob Manfred said, “I really believe we are fighting over an impossibility on games.” Says given need to relocated teams from Florida, earliest players could report is June 29, leaving 66 days to play 60 games.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 21, 2020
The league is saying more than 60 games simply cannot work…
Last week, as the union cried out that it was done negotiating and followed that up with the “when and where” drivel online, Manfred did not issue a schedule as he promised. Instead, he… reached out and started again negotiating with Clark. The sides actually got together for hours in a room together and then came out of the meeting apparently no closer together.
MLB and its owners offered up a 60 game season at full prorated pay. The when and where players union rejected that and followed up with a 70 game counterproposal. MLB scoffed and said they now would not be negotiating any further.
Then the olive branch on Sunday.
The proposed 2021 olive branch may be the last and best chance MLB and MLBPA have to strike a deal. Players had planned on voting today whether to accept a 60-game season or allow Manfred to impose a season of his desired length, sources tell me and @JesseRogersESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 21, 2020
ESPN’s Jeff Passan continued.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred sent a letter to MLBPA executive director Tony Clark today offering to cancel expanded playoffs and universal DH for 2021 if a full season isn’t played in 2020, sources tell ESPN. Players are concerned about giving up leverage of playoffs for naught.
With that, the season will be 60 games, around 50 games, or none. Of course, the bigger concern is once again the coronavirus surge still sweeping the country. In fact, Florida based baseball operations are likely shut down for 2020… but that’s a different story for a different post.
That 60 or 50 or no game season will be voted on today by a 38-member board with results expected by 5 pm ET. According to MLB insider Joel Sherman, “the expectation remains the [players]. If so, will Manfred move to implement a season?”
More to come on this all today.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the originally scheduled vote time of 3 pm ET was pushed while the two sides continue to negotiate.
We are down to the last hours before possible implementation of a short season by MLB/Manfred, and behind the scenes, there are efforts being made to circumvent implementation. Last-minute attempt at haggling.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) June 22, 2020