CHICAGO – If everything had gone as they’d hope, plans would be well in place to restart the 2020 baseball season around the summer’s biggest holidays in the United States.
That was the hope when Major League Baseball owners and players started negotiating on a plan to return to action after the season was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There was hope that “America’s Pastime” could help to usher in the return of major team sports in the country.
Instead, neither side has been able to find an agreement to their liking when it comes to how many games to play and compensation. At the moment, the sides don’t seem like they’re close as negotiations continue into mid-June.
Another chapter to this recent drama reportedly came today, with Karl Ravech of ESPN reporting that Major League Baseball has countered a recent MLBPA offer. This one calls for a 76-game regular season, 75 percent prorated salary, along with $200 million in playoff pool money, with the season ending no later than October 31st.
The league in all proposals had hoped to have the entire season end before November 1st when a popential second wave of COVID-19 could hit the country.
This was in response to the player’s 114-game proposal that was brought a week ago that included a full prorated salary for players with a regular season running through the end of October. This also included the chance for players to opt out of the season if they had concerns over the coronavirus.
MLB has previously proposed season lengths of 50-60 and 82 game, but that along with financial details haven’t been found acceptable by the players union. Per Bob Nightengale of USA Today, this latest 76-game proposal hasn’t been received well by players either.
Labor peace has been one of the positives of the game over the last generation, with the league avoiding a work stoppage since the season-ending strike of 1994. Problems have popped up over the past few weeks and don’t come at the best time for a number of reasons, including the fact that the current collective barganing agreement ends in December of 2021.
Can both sides agree to a deal that satisfies both in games played, salary, and safety. Many thought it would happen already, but the negotiations continue on for now.