As expected, the players association rejected the latest offer from the MLB in regards to a plan to return to baseball. Tony Clark, the executive director of the MLBPA issued this statement on Saturday, and there were some big takeaways.
Since March, the Association has made it clear that our No.1 focus is playing the fullest season possible, as soon as possible, as safely as possible. Players agreed to billions in monetary concessions as a means to that end, and in the face of repeated media leaks and misdirection we made additional proposals to inject new revenues into the industry – proposals that would benefit the owners, players, broadcast partners, and fans alike.
It’s now become apparent that these efforts have fallen upon deaf ears. In recent days, owners have decried the supposed unprofitability of owning a baseball team and the Commissioner has repeatedly threatened to schedule a dramatically shortened season unless players agree to hundreds of millions in further concessions. Our response has been consistent that such concessions are unwarranted, would be fundamentally unfair to players, and that our sport deserves the fullest 2020 season possible. These remain our positions today, particularly in light of new reports regarding MLB’s national television rights – information we requested from the league weeks ago but were never provided.
As a result, it unfortunately appears that further dialogue with the league would be futile. It’s time to get back to work. Tell us when and where.
Those final words might look familiar, as a lot of players took to Twitter to say they’re ready to play in 2020.
Back in March, there was an agreement between the players and the owners that allowed the MLB to set a schedule. There’s no definitive number as of now, but a lot of people have been throwing around 50 or so games for a season. This would pay the players a full prorated salary of nearly $1.25 billion. Bruce Meyer, the lead negotiator of the MLBPA, said that the MLB has until the end of Monday to inform them of their decision.
Major League Baseball then issued a statement in response to the decision:
“We are disappointed that the MLBPA has chosen not to negotiate in good faith over resumption of play after MLB has made three successive proposals that would provide players, Clubs and our fans with an amicable resolution to a very difficult situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The MLBPA understands that the agreement reached on March 26th was premised on the parties’ mutual understanding that the players would be paid their full salaries only if play resumed in front of fans, and that another negotiation was to take place if Clubs could not generate the billions of dollars of ticket revenue required to pay players.
The MLBPA’s position that players are entitled to virtually all the revenue from a 2020 season played without fans is not fair to the thousands of other baseball employees that Clubs and our office are supporting financially during this very difficult 2020 season. We will evaluate the Union’s refusal to adhere to the terms of the March Agreement, and after consulting with ownership, determine the best course to bring baseball back to our fans.”
The players are ready to go, and so are the fans. Hopefully we can get this solved quickly and we can see baseball resume. However, by the looks of things, it still can take some time.