MLB owners reject players’ counterproposal, refuse to present alternative

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Posted on: June 4, 2020 10:26 pm EDT

There still seems to be no progress on getting professional baseball players back on the field

The struggle to reach an agreement that satisfies both players and MLB team owners continues to hit a wall with no sign of getting closer to a resolution. After the MLB Players Association rejected a proposal sent by owners, players responded with a counterproposal for a 114-game schedule during the delay of the season due to the coronavirus pandemic, which owners have also refused. Now, not only did owners said no, but they are also telling the union that teams have no reason to think 82 games is possible and suggested that there might even be less than that. However, the owners have drawn the line and are not going to offer any more proposals.

The players’ recommendations went to the owners this past Sunday, five days after the initial economical plan was presented by the league. It suggested June 30 as the opening day and the final day of the season on October 31. Club management said that it would discuss a schedule that has only 50 games, which would also cut up to 80% of some player’s full salaries, according to the deal for pro-rated pay the union agreed to in March. If a deal is not met soon, this year’s baseball season is at risk.

Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem sent a letter to chief union negotiator Bruce Meyer on Wednesday, saying, “The commissioner is committed to playing baseball in 2020.” He added that “he has started discussions with ownership about staging a shorter season without fans.” The main concern is playing after October 31 because of the fear of a second wave of infections that could compromise $787 million in broadcast revenue the league earns during the post-season.

Owners claim that they would sustain huge losses if salaries are not cut more. The season is hoping to take place in ballparks and with no fans present. The deal signed with players on March 26 offered players $170 million as well as a guarantee that, if this year’s season ends up being shorter, they would get the 2020 service time matching what the player accrued in 2019. Beyond that, the union said no more cuts are acceptable.