MLBPA-MLB talks are dead in the water, season remains in the air

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Posted on: June 15, 2020 7:33 pm EDT

The players’ union is ready to call off all negotiations and let MLB brass decide how to proceed

Everyone keeps saying how it is important for MLB and MLB Players Association to reach an agreement for this year’s season to run, but that agreement keeps getting further away from happening. MLB owners are planning to have a meeting via conference call today in order to decide the next best action amid this sports’ labor dispute. According to a source who spoke to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, “It’s a shame it came to this, but it’s over. It’s time to move on. What are you going to do?”

This meeting follows up a recent letter issued by MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark, where the union is demanding the owners and the league to reach a decision to play “the fullest season possible, as soon as possible, as safely as possible,” said the letter. “Our response has been consistent that such concessions are unwarranted, would be fundamentally unfair to players, and that our sport deserves the fullest 2020 season possible,” added Clark in the letter. He is referring to the ongoing threats from the Commissioner of running a much shorter season unless players agree to cut down their salaries even more.

“If it is your intention to unilaterally impose a season, we again request that you inform us and our members of how many games you intend to play and when and where players should report,” the players union said in a letter, per Jeff Passan of ESPN. It added, “It is unfair to leave players and the fans hanging at this point.”

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred can implement a short season in a unilateral way. This means that players would earn full pro-rated salaries and no expanded postseason. MLB owners, however, will receive all of the playoff money under that format. This ability given to Manfred was decided in March and agreed by both sides; however, players are frustrated since the league keeps backing away from full pro-rated salaries in future proposals. Many players have already stated they would launch a players strike of Manfred creates the season.