Days after Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association appeared to make progress in talks to reopen the 2020 season, we’ve officially reached another stalemate.
As first reported by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, MLB informed the union that it will not make a counter-offer after the union proposed a 70-game schedule earlier this week.
League officials plan to huddle with owners this weekend to decide the next course of action. As Rosenthal notes, that could include commissioner Rob Manfred implementing a 50- or 60-game schedule.
MLB has told Players Association it will not make a counter-offer to union’s 70-game proposal, sources tell me and @EvanDrellich. League talking with owners this weekend to discuss its next options moving forward. Last MLB offer: 60 games. Could try to implement in 50-odd range.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 19, 2020
MLB players have since released a statement confirming Rosenthal’s report. In it, the union says it has been informed that MLB will not agree to a deal that goes beyond 60 games.
The Major League Baseball Players Association today released the following statement: pic.twitter.com/XxRDSskBBT— MLBPA Communications (@MLBPA_News) June 19, 2020
The exchange concludes what may have been the most tumultuous week during talks to reopen the season. And that’s saying a lot given how contentious the relationship has become over the last two months.
MLB officials reportedly felt a deal was close after Manfred and union president Tony Clark met Monday in Arizona to establish a framework. The official league proposal included full prorated salaries over 60 games. The players responded with a 70-game proposal that was quickly and resoundingly rejected on Thursday.
In addition to the money squabble that has taken over the headlines in recent weeks, MLB is also reportedly re-evaluating its plans after a rash of positive COVID-19 tests were revealed on Friday. At least 11 players on seven teams have tested positive, leading to the shutdown of three training facilities.
With health and safety moving back to the forefront, both sides will have a lot to consider in the days ahead.
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