Latest on MLB’s return: Players reject owners’ 60-game proposal; season expected to be implemented soon
After several delays, baseball’s players voted Monday to reject the latest proposal for a return to play by MLB. Now, we could be in line for the start of the 2020 season.
The players voted 33-5 against the offer, which would see 60 regular season games and full prorated pay.
Sources tell @JeffPassan and I players have voted against the league's latest proposal to play 60 games. The vote was 33-5 against.Article continues below ...
— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) June 22, 2020
That vote had originally been slated for this past weekend, but those plans were delayed in the wake of reports that 11 players from 40-man rosters of 7 different teams had tested positive for the coronavirus in June.
Following Monday’s vote, the MLB Players Association issued a statement stating the players will now wait for Commissioner Manfred to unilaterally implement a schedule for the 2020 season.
The Major League Baseball Players Association today released the following statement: pic.twitter.com/1OnFBsoEjd
— MLBPA Communications (@MLBPA_News) June 22, 2020
According to our Ken Rosenthal, MLB now plans to implement a 60-game season, pending the union’s response to two questions:
1. Whether players will be be able to report to camp within 7 days (by July 1st).
2. Whether the Players Association will agree on necessary health and safety protocols.
Source: Owners plan to implement 60-game season once union responds to two questions posed in statement. https://t.co/6Erj1jLpfK
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 23, 2020
Commissioner Rob Manfred sent a letter to MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark ahead of the players’ originally scheduled meeting on Sunday, making the case that a 60-game regular season is most feasible, given the timetable imposed by the coronavirus development.
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
That letter also reportedly contained a proposal to cancel expanded playoffs and the universal DH rule for 2021 if a full season isn’t played in 2020. By conceding those points, MLB could help alleviate any concern the players have about surrendering leverage in CBA negotiations after the 2021 season.
The 2020 season was supposed to begin on March 26 but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Since it became reasonable to consider resuming play, both sides have attempted to find a deal that satisfies all involved parties.
Negotiations had seemingly become contentious earlier this month, with players using the hashtag #WhenAndWhere to express their desire to get back on the field.
Tell us when and where. https://t.co/hy157hOYkl
— Bryce Harper (@bryceharper3) June 16, 2020
— Enrique Hernández (@kikehndez) June 15, 2020
Up until now, the owners and players have spent months debating player salaries, postseason structure and season length.
The players want full prorated salaries, meaning they would get paid the same amount per game in a shortened season that they would get paid in a 162-game season. Players also want to play as many regular season games as possible. The owners had originally proposed that player salaries would be less than fully prorated, but that’s no longer the case.
The owners are proposing fewer regular season games, considering there will be no fans in attendance and no gate revenue. There are also reportedly proposals to look at other ways to increase revenue.
On union proposal to allow clubs to sell advertisements/patches on uniforms: Traditionalists would hate it, but pandemic created exceptional financial circumstances and such ads would be an easy way to make money. Nike swoosh already was set to adorn all uniforms in 2020.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 18, 2020
This past Tuesday, Commissioner Manfred met with Clark to discuss the framework of the latest proposed deal, before MLB delivered the proposal to the players on Wednesday.
Source: MLB proposal includes:
•60 games in 70 days
•Season starting July 19th/20th
•Full Prorated Salary
•Expanded Playoffs in 2020 and 2021
•Waiving of any potential grievance
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 17, 2020
The MLBPA countered on Thursday with a proposal that included an expanded regular season of 70 games.
Among the details in MLBPA’s new proposal, sources tell ESPN:
– 70-game season from July 19-Sept. 30
– $50M in playoff bonuses
– 50/50 split of new postseason TV revenues in 2021
– Forgiveness of salary advance for Tier I-III players
– Universal DH
– Mutual waiver of grievance
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 18, 2020
The players want 10 more regular season games equaling $250 million more in total salary. They also want $25 million more in playoff pool funds, and they want the season to end in early November as opposed to late October.
MLB has told Players Association it will not make a counter-offer to union’s 70-game proposal, sources tell me and @EvanDrellich. League talking with owners this weekend to discuss its next options moving forward. Last MLB offer: 60 games. Could try to implement in 50-odd range.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 19, 2020
There is also the issue of the coronavirus. Friday, five Philadelphia Phillies players and three Phillies staffers tested positive for COVID-19 at the team’s training camp in Clearwater, Florida.
BREAKING: Coronavirus outbreak at Phillies camp — 8 positive tests. Story herehttps://t.co/YhBRXdgksX
— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyNBCS) June 19, 2020
The Phillies weren’t the only franchise to be affected. The day prior, a Toronto Blue Jays player exhibited COVID-19 symptoms at their training camp in Dunedin, Florida.
Then, on Friday, a Houston Astros player tested positive for the virus as well.
An Astros player who has been working out at the complex in West Palm Beach has tested positive for COVID-19. The team said in a release that player experienced minor symptoms and is recovering well.
— Julia Morales (@JuliaMorales) June 19, 2020
Players from as many as seven teams have reportedly tested positive. As a result, reports suggest that the league is considering adopting a “bubble” format, similar to the one the NBA has planned for its restart at the end of July.
After 11 players from seven 40-man rosters test positive for coronavirus, MLB is reportedly reconsidering a "bubble" format for the 2020 season https://t.co/nRrjVTvrV0
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) June 19, 2020
This is a developing story. Stay tuned for more updates.