Major League Baseball players are making it clear: They will not take another reduction in pay in order to complete the 2020 season.
The league rejected the Players’ Association’s 114-game counterproposal on Wednesday and refused to revise its proposal, according to The Athletic’s Even Drellich and Ken Rosenthal. Now, the players are doing the same thing, leaving the two sides in a deadlock.
One of the biggest sticking points here is the number of games played. The players are aiming for as many games as possible, hence the 114-game proposition. But the league is eying a largely abbreviated season that’d extend no longer than 60 games and no shorter than 40.
Pay, however, appears to be the biggest issue of them all. Players want MLB to honor the March deal, which they say gave athletes prorated pay for the games they play in 2020. So, naturally, they want to play as many games as physically possible.
MLB? Not so much.
“Both sides ideally would prefer a longer season,” MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said Thursday in a statement. “MLB’s initial proposal included a schedule of 82 games but was unacceptable to the union because it included cuts the union estimated to be greater than 30 percent in total dollars. Players also disliked that offer because the structure appeared to pit younger and older players against each other, with tiered cuts that affected the richest players the most.
“Earlier today we held a conference call of the association’s executive board and several other MLBPA player leaders. The overwhelming consensus of the board is that players are ready to report, ready to get back on the field, and they are willing to do so under unprecedented conditions that could affect the health and safety of not just themselves, but their families as well. The league’s demand for additional concessions was resoundingly rejected. Important work remains to be done in order to safely resume the season. We stand ready to complete that work and look forward to getting back on the field.”
But the March deal only requires the league to put forth its “best effort” to make a season happen — not guarantee a season. And if neither side is willing to compromise, however, a 2020 season appears a bit unlikely.
Will there be an MLB season in 2020? Only time will tell, now.