98.5 The Sports Hub staff report
Unable to agree at the negotiating table after their latest offer was rejected by the MLBPA, the MLB will proceed with a 2020 season under the terms of the Mar. 26 agreement, the league said in a statement released Monday night.
“Today, the Major League Baseball Players Association informed us that they have rejected the agreement framework developed by Commissioner Manfred and Tony Clark. Needless to say, we are disappointed by this development,” the MLB statement read. “The framework provided an opportunity for MLB and its players to work together to confront the difficulties and challenges presented by the pandemic. It gave our fans the chance to see an exciting new Postseason format.”
In addition to the expanded postseason, the MLB’s since-rejected offer to the players included a universal DH for both the 2020 and 2021 seasons, a guaranteed $25 million in playoff pool money in 2020, overall earnings of 104 percent prorated salary, and $33 million “in forgiven salary advances that would increase the take home pay of 61% of Major League players.”
With all of that out the window, the league will now challenge the players’ “when and where” retorts, and ask if the players are willing to report back to work for a Spring Training ramp-up, perhaps by July 1 should the sides come to terms on the health and safety protocols they’ll need to agree on before an official return.
“In order to produce a schedule with a specific number of games, we are asking that the Players Association provide to us by 5:00 p.m. (ET) tomorrow with two pieces of information,” the league’s statement noted. “The first is whether players will be able to report to camp within seven days (by July 1st). The second is whether the Players Association will agree on the Operating Manual which contains the health and safety protocols necessary to give us the best opportunity to conduct and complete our regular season and Postseason.”
If that happens, you’re likely looking at a start date sometime in the final week of July, and with the postseason likely going on relatively close to its original schedule.
It will also mark the start of what will be a straight-up bad time for all involved, according to Buster Olney, as the union will likely move ahead with their grievance, the free agent market will become a nightmare, and labor unrest will only intensify.
But at least we’re all a step closer to a 2020 season, right? Right?