Negotiations Continue Regarding 2020 Season
In what very well could have been the final proposal in the never ending negotiation process between the MLB and MLB Players Association, a verdict came down regarding the results this afternoon. According to Jeff Passan and Jesse Rogers of ESPN were the first with the news.
Sources tell @JeffPassan and I players have voted against the league's latest proposal to play 60 games. The vote was 33-5 against.
— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) June 22, 2020
Within the proposal, players voted down the idea of full prorated salary for a 60-game season. Additionally, the players voted on having no compensation should the season have to end and no advancement of salary. Furthermore, if the season ended up being fewer than 50 games, then there would have been ramifications for the 2021 season as well.
Those ramifications would have included expanded playoffs and no universal Designated Hitter. Beyond that, the current qualifying offer system would have stayed in place. The qualifying offer has come under scrutiny the past few years and it would have remain unchanged.
Everything Steams Back to March
The entire baseball world was officially suspended on March 12th. Once March 26th rolled around, a very vital and important agreement was reached. Barry Bloom of Sportico outlined it nicely in an article on Variety.
Bloom states that in the March 26th agreement, “the union would receive $170 million to split among the players with a pro rata payment of salary based on remaining games.” However, that was on the basis of three stipulations.
Those three stipulations include: “games could be played in front of fans[,] teams could travel unencumbered between cities [across the country, and] a clear path to play without health concerns was granted by a government group like the CDC.”
Recently, some of those stipulations have started to become question marks. That is especially true in states such as California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida, all who have seen a spike in COVID-19 related cases.
Additionally, it is still unclear how travel would work, if there is a season. That is partly why there has been hesitation all along throughout the process from both sides. However, it has also been a significant discussion point and something both sides have heavily mapped out.
MLB Players Association Responds
Following this afternoon’s vote, the MLB Players Association, led by Tony Clark, released the following statement.
The Major League Baseball Players Association today released the following statement: pic.twitter.com/1OnFBsoEjd
— MLBPA Communications (@MLBPA_News) June 22, 2020
Over the past few days, the negotiations have hit a standstill. Originally, negotiations were put on hold last Friday. Players were concerned regarding various healthy and safety protocols. Additionally, negotiations have halted due to a disagreement on the length of the season.
With this statement, the Union has made it clear that it still wants to look at every viable way to come to an agreement. However, the negotiations cannot continue much longer due to where the calendar is. Players have made it clear that they want three weeks for Spring Training 2.0.
Now, all attention will most likely turn to Commissioner Rob Manfred. Commissioner Manfred will probably institute a schedule to his own desire that is between 50-60 games. Both sides agreed on that stipulation in the aforementioned March 26th agreement. It won’t be easy though because there is still a high probability that players will in turn file a grievance and further complicate the process.
Regardless, there is still a very good chance that there might not even be a season this year. Only time will tell what ends up happening and what the final determination is.
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