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Rob Manfred, Tony Clark leave meeting with ‘jointly developed framework’ toward deal

MLB offers full pro-rated pay to players after latest meeting

World Baseball Classic - Championship Round - Game 3 - USA v Puerto Rico

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:

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.

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.