Early on Monday, the Major League Baseball Players Association rejected MLB’s latest 2020 season proposal leaving commissioner Rob Manfred in a precarious position. That position was to honor the original March 26th agreement that the union has been asking for over the last several weeks.
Here’s the latest from an official MLB statement.
Today, the Major League Baseball Players Association informed us that they have rejected the agreement framework developed by Commissioner Manfred and Tony Clark. Needless to say, we are disappointed by this development.
The framework provided an opportunity for MLB and its players to work together to confront the difficulties and challenges presented by the pandemic. It gave our fans the chance to see an exciting new Postseason format. And, it offered players significant benefits including:
- The universal DH for two years
- A guaranteed $25 million in playoff pools in 2020
- $33 million in forgiven salary advances that would increase the take home pay of 61% of Major League players
- Overall earnings for players of 104 percent of prorated salary
- Over the last two days, MLB agreed to remove expanded Postseason in 2021 in order to address player concerns
In view of this rejection, the MLB Clubs have unanimously voted to proceed with the 2020 season under the terms of the March 26th Agreement. The provisions listed above will not be operative.
In order to produce a schedule with a specific number of games, we are asking that the Players Association provide to us by 5:00 p.m. (ET) tomorrow with two pieces of information. The first is whether players will be able to report to camp within seven days (by July 1st). The second is whether the Players Association will agree on the Operating Manual which contains the health and safety protocols necessary to give us the best opportunity to conduct and complete our regular season and Postseason.
So yes, after coming to terms on updated health and safety protocols amid the currently still-active pandemic, there may, in fact, be a baseball season soon. Additionally, clubs need to confirm that players can arrive at a designated spring training 2.0 sites in time for a July 1 report date.
With how negotiations have gone over the last handful of weeks, the expression don’t hold your breath quickly comes to mind…
Moreover, July 24 is listed as the tentative new opening day for what will be a 60-game baseball season.
If you’re looking for the TL;DR version, former MLB GM Jim Bowden sums it up here.
#MLB Plan is to implement 60 game schedule. No universal DH. No expanded playoffs. No $25m in playoff pool money to players.
Players need to agree to report by July 1st for the 60 games to stay in tact.
— Jim Bowden (@JimBowdenGM) June 23, 2020
We’re not out of it yet, but baseball is on our doorstep.