The MLB and the MLBPA continue to battle over the economic of a return, and the league is moving the target again.
The NBA has a plan to return, a does the NHL. Other sports and leagues are returning without fans. And there’s MLB, which continues to battle with the MLBPA over economic semantics of a 2020 season.
Proposals are going back and forth, with buzzwords like prorated pay, playoff pools and such. The MLBPA proposed an 89-game schedule recently, with full prorate salaries. The MLB will counter, with Karl Ravech of ESPN reporting a proposed 70-plus game season with 80-85 percent prorated salaries and a playoff pool bonus. Jon Heyman of MLB Network has reported a 72-game proposal is coming, with over 80 percent of prorated pay.
Heyman added the idea of a deadline to the proceedings, before MLB would implement a shorter season. The MLBPA is sure to counter, so there’s a greater sense of urgency than there already was.
MLB keeps moving the goal posts on its players, and it’s unfair
The idea of a July 4 start is now gone, and mid-July should be coming into focus for however many games will be played. Teams have to have a second spring training to ramp back up, and a schedule needs to be set.
Commissioner Rob Manfred holds the ultimate hammer, for better or worse. He can unilaterally implement a season in the neighborhood of 50 games if it comes to that. However flimsily if you’re a rightful skeptic about Manfred’s love of the game, he has recently said he hopes not to have to do that.
The counterproposal to the player’s association that Manfred promised is apparently indeed coming, if it hasn’t officially happened now. It should be noted Manfred did not announce picks on the second night of the draft Thursday night. So perhaps there are active negotiations going on, which is a good sign.
Even 50 games is better than nothing for those that want a 2020 MLB season, which may or may not include a majority of team owners. But there seems to be progress, unless or until the MLBPA rightfully calls out the continued idea of getting a percentage of prorated salaries.