Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association (MLBPA) are negotiating a return to play plan for the 2020 season, and an agreement could be reached this week. The MLB was scheduled to hold opening day two months ago, but the spread of COVID-19 forced the league to suspend operations in the midst of spring training on March 12. Now the league and the Players Association are trying to agree on a shortened season, a process that started in early May.
The condensed campaign would likely start in July, have an extended playoff format and include a long list of safety protocols for MLB players and team staff. Here are some notable elements of the proposal approved by the team owners and sent to the players’ union:
- Regional calendar of 82 games and universal DH
- Active lists of 30 men with a taxi team of 20 players
- 14 playoff teams with games played in their hometowns in October
- 50/50 income split for players and owners
As the talks continue and more information becomes public, we have chosen to build a timeline of important news and events surrounding these talks. Below is everything you need to know about the state of the negotiations and how they got there.
May 24: players should make a counter offer
As MLBPA waits for owners’ next proposal, Chuck Garfien of NBC Sports Chicago reports that. This would provide the teams with some of the financial relief they seek in these negotiations and is another signal that neither party is yet rooted in current negotiating positions.
In the meantime, Charles Gasparino of Fox Business News tweets that the owners of MLB have scheduled a meeting Tuesday with Commissioner Rob Manfred at 1 p.m. AND before presenting their second proposal to the players.
May 22: MLB to present new economic proposal on Tuesday
Unsurprisingly, players were not impressed with the owners’ opening offer which resulted in further salary cuts in response to the likelihood that fans would not be present for at least part of the year. The players have already agreed to proportionate their salaries according to the number of games played, but the MLB is looking for new concessions.
On this front, Source tells Evan Drellich of The Athletic that the owners will present to the players a revised economic proposal on Tuesday. Presumably the owners will abandon their original proposal, but the extent to which they do so will of course determine whether the latter offer leads directly to an agreement. Teams will need at least two or three weeks to prepare for the start of the season in early July, so the window for negotiation is not wide. Some momentum towards an agreement is necessary, and this second proposal could be just that.
While issues such as the structure of the season and the security measures to be put in place must also be agreed, economic issues seem to be the toughest negotiations and have the greatest potential to be a real dead end for a agreement.
May 21: Union Responds to MLB Proposal
Jared Diamond of Wall Street newspaper, the union’s counter proposal included notes on the frequency of testing, protections for high-risk gamers and their families, and disinfection protocols., taking the next formal step in the negotiation process. According to
The MLBPA released the following statement Thursday afternoon, by Jeff Passan of ESPN.
“The union has spent the past few days carefully reviewing the manual and collecting feedback from medical experts and players from across the league, including a 3.5 hour video conference with over 100 player leaders on Monday evening. “
May 20: MLB presents official proposal to players
Sources tell USA Today’s Bob Nightengale that Commissioner Rob Manfred and MLB lawyers plan to present their formal economic plan to the union on Friday. In this presentation, the MLB will further detail the financial losses that the league claims to suffer during the 2020 season. The league had previously claimed that teams would suffer a combined loss of approximately $ 4 billion without fans present if players refused to ” accept another pay cut. however,.
May 20: Players Review Security Proposal
According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, MLBPA chief Tony Clark led a conference call on Monday to chat with players. The call included more than 130 MLB players, with all 30 teams represented. According to Sherman, the call lasted more than three hours and included many questions and recommendations from the players.
May 19: Hedges’ “very confident” season will take place
San Diego Padres wide receiver and union official Austin Hedges is optimistic that an agreement will be reached. “In the past 48 hours, it really feels like we are doing things,” he told Kevin Acee. San Diego Union-Tribune Tuesday. Hedges believes players and owners must recognize that both sides will have to sacrifice themselves in 2020 for the long-term health of the league. If that happens, they should be able to find enough common ground to reach an agreement.
May 18: owners say they will lose $ 640,000 per game
Baseball owners say they will lose $ 640,000 per game without fans in the seats during an 82-game season. There is no way to verify these figures, given the closed book nature of professional sports accounting. Yet the above figure is one of the reasons why owners are pushing players to accept further pay cuts as part of a 50-50 income split.
May 16: Leak in the proposed security protocol
Player compensation has been identified as one of two major issues that the parties must resolve. The other is the safety of players and other essential personnel. Over the weekend, The Athletic released highlights of a 67-page safety and test protocol that the league has submitted to the union. The memo included MLB’s plans for testing, travel and other relevant topics.
May 14: Snell reacts on Twitch
Tampa Bay Rays left-hander Blake Snell made the headlines by reacting publicly to the league’s 50-50 revenue split in a Twitch stream. Snell said the risk of getting COVID-19 was “just not worth it” while noting that the players had already accepted a previous pay cut.
May 14: players are likely to accept universal DH
Although these are relatively small beans, players are likely to accept a universal DH for the 2020 season. The idea is, ostensibly, that the pitchers would stay healthier if they were relieved of their strikes and strikes. race. The season is expected to be played with extended rosters, and DH would allow teams to find bats for players who might otherwise do without them.
May 12: no discussions on money the first day
The league and union officially began talks on May 12. Despite this, the league would not have presented its revenue-sharing plan to the union on the first day. The union has pushed back an amended deal, saying it believes a March deal between the two sides – one that paid players prorated wages based on the number of games played in 2020 – had resolved the pay problem.
May 11: the owners get along
Before negotiations with the union began, the owners approved a plan that would include an 82-game season, extended playouts and a playoff extension that would include 14 teams. The plan also provides for the aforementioned 50-50 income split between owners and players.