In addition, the executive director of the MLBPA, Tony Clark, has issued a statement saying “it appears that to continue the dialogue with the league would be useless,” and invited the commissioner Rob Manfred to schedule all the matches that he deems appropriate. Here is the statement from Clark:
“The players want to play. This is who we are and what we do. Since march, the Association has clearly stated that our goal no. 1 was to play the season as complete as possible, as early as possible, in the safest way possible. The players have agreed to billions of dollars in concession money to this end, and in the face of leaks and embezzlement, repeated media, we have made additional proposals to inject new revenues into the industry, proposals which would be of benefit to the owners, the players, the broadcast partners and fans.
“It is now becoming clear that these efforts have fallen on deaf ears. In recent days, the owners have condemned the alleged non-profitability of owning a baseball team and the commissioner has threatened on several occasions to plan a season shortened significantly unless the players accept hundreds of millions of extra dollars. Our response has been consistent, according to which such concessions are unjustified, and would be fundamentally unfair for the players and our sport deserves the season 2020 as complete as possible. Such are our positions today, especially in light of the new reports concerning the rights of national tv MLB – the information that we have requested to the league weeks ago, but have never been provided.
“As a result, it seems, unfortunately, that the continuation of the dialogue with the league would be in vain. It is time to return to work. Tell us when and where. “
“If you have the intention to unilaterally impose a season, we ask you again to inform us, as well as to our members, the number of games you intend to play and of the time and place where the players should be present “, wrote the negotiator of the MLBPA, Bruce Meyer, in a letter to the MLB. “It is unfair to let the players and the fans hanging at this stage. We ask that you inform us of your plans before the close of business on Monday, June 15. “
An agreement in march between the MLB and the MLBPA gives Manfred the opportunity to plan a season of any length as long as the players receive a salary in proportion. The MLB believes that the agreement of march they can request a new round of salary cuts to take account of matches played without fans, what the union has rejected. They consider that the matter is pay close.
MLB and MLBPA have exchanged several proposals in recent weeks, but the players are the only ones to make concessions. They have proposed less games at full salary prorated to each step. MLB, meanwhile, continues to make the same basic proposal in a different form. They have offered to pay players approximately one-third of their salary as a full season each time.
Here is a summary of the proposals of MLB:
- May 26: 82 games with a salary range of mobile (about 33% of the salary for the full season)
- June 8: 76 games to 75% on pro-rata basis (35% of salary for the full season)
- 12 June: 72 games with 80% in proportion (36% of the salary for the full season)
The proposals on 8 and 12 June are conditional. If the playoff can not be completed due to the pandemic of COVID-19, players would receive a portion of the smaller of their salary on a prorated basis. The MLBPA has proposed seasons of 114 and 89 matches with a salary pro-rata and full-expanded format for the playoffs.
The MLB has indicated (but not formally proposed) that it will pay the players the full salary on a prorated basis, but only to 48-54 games, is 30-33 percent of their salary for the full season. The owners say they will lose money with every game played without fans and that a shorter season is the only way to avoid massive losses while paying the players salary on a prorated basis.
Last month, the MLBPA has requested documents to support the financial claims of MLB and these demands were only partially met. The union believes that MLB has not demonstrated that its financial situation is as bad as they have alleged, and he is not willing to accept a new round of salary cuts without evidence.
The letter of Meyer’s so-called “underhanded tactics of MLB to work around the union” and called their approach to bargaining, ” a tactic of delay after another.” The MLBPA believes that Manfred and MLB are at a standstill until the exhaustion of the time, and Manfred has no other choice than to programme a season of 48-54 games because that is all they have time to play.
Once the season scheduled – either because of Manfred the fact, unilaterally, either because the two parties have reached an agreement – we think the teams will need about 10 days to prepare for their training camps. An abbreviated course of the spring of three weeks would follow. The MLB wants that the season ends at the latest on the 27th of September to ensure that the playoffs don’t bleed in November.
The MLBPA must approve an expanded format for the playoffs and it is unlikely that he will do it if Manfred is planning the season unilaterally. The MLB has proposed up to 16 teams in the playoffs to help generate additional revenue. Beyond the calendar, the two parties also need to resolve various security issues related to the pandemic.
Earlier Saturday, it was announced that the MLB was finalizing an agreement for the distribution of a billion dollars with Turner Sports. This agreement will begin in 2022 and will not give the teams an immediate influx of cash, but it is guaranteed future income, which may help clubs to borrow money to cover expenses in the short term. MLB currently receives $ 350 million a year from Turner.
Although the start of the season 2020 is the absolute priority, the current collective agreement expires in December 2021 and the two parties will spend the next 18 months to negotiate a new agreement. A stop-work is not guaranteed, but it certainly seems more likely now than it has ever been in the past 25 years.