Major League Baseball issues statement to players, notes disappointment in halted talks

Tony Clark

While disappointing and maddening to many baseball followers, the disagreement also appears to have cleared the way for a season to get underway.

MLB players are furious with the league and team owners as talks regarding a 2020 season remain at a standstill.

After sections on scheduling and transactions, the agreement then details conditions under which players will receive a salary determined by taking their initial salary and "the number of remaining games scheduled during the 2020 championship season as of the revised opening day, divided by 162".

"As a result, it unfortunately appears that further dialogue with the league would be futile". Players have suggested that they would need about three weeks to get back into playing shape before games started. "Tell us when and where".

There is some thought that the union may file a grievance if Manfred institutes a short season, which is his right via the March 26 agreement.

Halem contends that the union has not acted in good faith, and cries about the money owners stand to lose.

The league responded with a statement that placed the blame on the union for its stance: "MLBPA's position that players are entitled to virtually all of the revenue from a 2020 season played without fans is not fair to the thousands of other baseball employees that Clubs and our office are supporting financially during this very hard 2020 season". "We will evaluate the Union's refusal to adhere to the terms of the March Agreement, and after consulting with ownership, determine the best course to bring baseball back to our fans".

This sets the stage for another standoff when the collective bargaining agreement ends after the 2021 season.

These raw negotiations heighten the chance of a spring training lockout after the current collective bargaining agreement expires on December 1, 2021. "Given your continued insistence of hundreds of millions of dollars of additional pay reductions, we assume these negotiations are at end".

The New York Post's Joel Sherman tweeted: "Players' position becomes clearer: let Major League Baseball decide how many games willing to impose at full prorated, then file a grievance that Major League Baseball failed best efforts to play as many games as possible". "It is unfair to leave players and the fans hanging at this point". The MLBPA is demanding the league informs it of its plans by Monday, June 15, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, who guaranteed baseball in 2020 in interviews on two different networks Wednesday prior to the beginning of the draft, is expected to implement a season of 48-52 games with players receiving their full prorated salaries.

Players insist they should not have to accept additional cuts.

A letter sent to the MLBPA along with the league's latest proposal to resume play includes several biting passages written by deputy commissioner Dan Halem.

Grichuk's post came on the heels of MLB's latest offer to the players: a 72-game schedule. The executive subcommittee held a call Saturday followed by a larger group of about 100 players, including the full executive committee and others.

Major League Baseball proposed that players be guaranteed about $1.25 billion in salaries, earn an additional $200 million if the postseason is completed plus a $50 million postseason players' pool even if no tickets are sold.

"Players want to play. It's who we are and what we do", Clark said.

The union's proposal would guarantee players $2.2 billion.

"It's now become apparent that these efforts have fallen upon deaf ears". Though that season will feature fewer games that might have been possible if the sides were able to reach common ground in a more timely manner.