The last week was the most contentious between MLB owners and players regarding the 2020 season, with both sides accusing the other of negotiating in bad faith. But on Tuesday in Phoenix, commissioner Rob Manfred and MLBPA executive director Tony Clark met for several hours, trying to get a deal done.
“We left that meeting with a jointly developed framework that we agreed could form the basis of an agreement and subject to conversations with our respective constituents,” Manfred said in a statement on Wednesday. “I summarized that framework numerous times in the meeting and sent Tony a written summary today. Consistent with our conversations yesterday, I am encouraging the clubs to move forward and I trust Tony is doing the same.”
The biggest sticking point in these negotiations was the players getting pro-rated pay depending on the length of the season, something both sides agreed to on March 26. The first three offers from MLB owners to date all included salary cuts beyond pro-rated pay, and were nonstarters in the players’ eyes.
On Wednesday, MLB’s offer to the players for the first time included pro-rated pay, over a 60-game season, plus expanded playoffs:
Source: MLB proposal includes:— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 17, 2020
•60 games in 70 days
•Season starting July 19th/20th
•Full Prorated Salary
•Expanded Playoffs in 2020 and 2021
•Waiving of any potential grievance
Getting the players to waive their right to a grievance will be tough, and will likely require a season longer than 60 games. But that’s just part of the negotiations.
Source: It is "flatly and utterly false" that MLBPA has agreed to waive any grievance against MLB. Could happen as part of an agreement. There isn't an agreement.— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) June 17, 2020
Worth noting: MLB’s last offer to the players maxed out at $1.5 billion. The money over a 60-game season at full pro rata: $1.5 billion.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 17, 2020
If there’s a deal to be done, it is going to be for more than 60 games. Union will counter higher. And somewhere in the middle is the season.
After a week that included the players saying any further negotiations are futile, and that had Manfred saying he wasn’t confident a 2020 season would happen, today counts as progress. We’ll see.