MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred says he is “100%” sure there will be a baseball season in 2020


Rob Manfred is confident that the Major League Baseball will take place this summer, but hopes that this will result from a negotiated agreement with the MLB Players Association, a circumstance which seems unlikely in the midst of controversial and seemingly unproductive negotiations in the past weeks.Manfred, in his sixth year as an MLB commissioner, said Wednesday in an interview with ESPN broadcaster Karl Ravech that the league will soon provide a “reactive proposal” to MLBPA’s latest offering, which included a season of 89 matches and prorated wages, and that it is “100 percent” sure that there will be a season.

Manfred, speaking just under an hour before the start of a much shorter MLB project, said the league’s proposal would be “another big step in the direction of the players in terms of the pay problem.” who separated us. “

“We hope that this will produce a reciprocal movement on the part of the Players’ Association, that we will see a number other than one hundred percent on salary, and some recognition that 89 games, given where we are in the schedule and the course of the pandemic is not realistic, “he added.

Players remain firm in their belief that they owe all of their salaries prorated on the basis of an agreement reached by both parties in March, while the owners claim that the reality of hosting fanless games means enough losses to justify more financial concessions from players. Neither side has expressed a willingness to leave their respective positions.

If an agreement cannot be reached, Manfred has the autonomy to implement a shorter season – it would appear to be 48 games – as long as the players receive full prorated wages. If that ends up being the case, sources said, the MLBPA would likely use its right to refuse a playoff extension and could even grieve. The concern would then focus on how this animosity could spread in the negotiations on a new collective agreement, the current agreement should expire after the 2021 season.

“I would prefer to negotiate a new agreement with MLBPA that will allow us to get more games and resolve the issues that separate us amicably,” said Manfred. “But at the end of the day, we negotiated for the right in March to start the season with a certain number of matches that we select under these particular circumstances. And if we have to, we will exercise that right. ”

Manfred does not want the regular season extended beyond September in order to guard against a potential second wave of coronavirus and to ensure that the post-season – a crucial revenue generator due to the money of the television she will bring – be played.

The initial league proposal called for an 82-game season and phased-in salary reduction system that would ultimately have had the greatest impact on the most famous frontball players. The union responded with a proposal for 114 prorated games, which was completely rejected by the owners of baseball. Monday morning, when the league submitted a proposal for a 76-game season and a prorated salary of 75%, the players returned Tuesday afternoon with a proposal for 89 prorated games, which also included and extended the playoffs playoffs for the next two years and a regular season ending October 11.

Manfred made a point of telling Ravech that baseball revenues “will drop by over 70%” in 2020. A potential deal could ultimately come down to whether the parties can find common ground between 89 and 48 games with full prorated wages. Manfred said he would be “disappointed” if he had to use his power to start a season that would be less than a third of the usual length.

“But you know what, I think at the end of the day, the most important thing … is that we are playing major baseball in 2020,” said Manfred. “And I can tell you unequivocally that we are going to play major baseball this year. “


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