MLB Owners Reject MLBPA Proposal, Not Offering a Counter
The back and forth over the potential start of the major league baseball season continues to rage on between the owners and the MLBPA. After originally seeing their March 26 Opening Day postponed two weeks before first pitch thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been plenty of potential concepts lobbied about in an effort to figure out a common ground to build from to get the season going.
In the last couple of weeks, the two sides have made countering proposals in an effort to find a common ground. After a back and forth about potential proposals last week, the sport may have been staggered by the latest news that came out Wednesday afternoon.
According to Ken Rosenthal at The Athletic, the owners have summarily rejected the players’ proposal of a 114-game season with full pro-rated salaries. While that part of the story wasn’t all that surprising, given that the owners have wanted to limit the number of games in order to try and curb their potential financial losses going forward this season, the rest of the story is a bit more concerning. Reports state that the owners have no intention of sending a second counter to the MLBPA, leaving the two sides pretty much at the same place they’ve been most of the way: no closer to a deal that would save the season.
According to sources, the owners had no interest in extending their season into November as they don’t want a second flare-up of the coronavirus, which could slice into, if not eliminate all of, $787 million in broadcasting revenues while impacting the postseason. As it stands, the owners were comfortable with a 50-game schedule that allowed players to receive the full chunk of their pro-rated salaries as opposed to the sliding scale that they had initially pitched in their first proposal, which had an 82-game schedule.
Despite that, the owners have yet to formally bring a 50-game schedule to the table, which may be a good thing as the players have been said to have no interest in such a slate. In several different conversations with ESPN, players have stated that they wouldn’t play a schedule that was trimmed to 50 or so games. One unnamed player said “We want to play more games, and they want to play less. We want more baseball.” According to Jayson Stark of The Athletic, with no hard “drop-dead” date for negotiations and players needing a month or so to get up to speed before games took place, the potential start date for the season could shift from July 4 to July 15.
No matter how you slice it at this point, time is running out as far as hammering out a deal that would leave enough time to put together any kind of reasonable season lengthwise that wouldn’t run into November, which seems to be a timeframe that the owners want nothing to do with. Someone is going to have to give if they hope to avoid the scorched earth scenario.
Unless things suddenly take a turn for the better, we may end up with no baseball at all, which would impact everyone.