According to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, the “framework” is finally in place to reach an agreement between the players and owners for the 2020 season.
During a stalemate that has lingered for months now, Manfred has received tremendous criticism for his inability to resolve tension radiating from the Players Association.
The players have been unwilling to succumb to the owners’ demands of a 50/50 revenue split, as stubbornness on both sides has stalled the league’s plans to begin their season “on time.” MLB initially targeted July 4 as an ideal time for Opening Day, which is unfortunately no longer a possibility.
Manfred’s wishy-washy approach to this stand-off has destroyed the league’s reputability, as both the players and owners look completely tone-deaf given what’s going on in the world around them.
However, at least for now, optimism remains that an agreement can be finalized over the next couple of days.
The logistics of a shortened season remain pertinent, as the imminence of July narrows the window for an agreement to be finalized.
A conference call between Manfred and the executive director of the MLBPA, Tony Clark, took place this week as the two sides were optimistic an agreement could be reached as early as this weekend.
MLB Insider Ken Rosenthal was recently made aware of the current proposal from the league, as it features 60 games over 70 days, with an Opening Day target date of July 19 — nearly a month away.
Moreover, the revenue deal would include fully prorated salaries, a necessary mandate from the MLBPA, and an expanded playoff format for both 2020 and 2021.
Lastly, to cater to the obstinance emanating from the owners’ coalition, any potential grievances issued by the Players Association would have to be waived prior to the season’s beginning, as this has been a major roadblock throughout the negotiation process.
The union is still likely to counter this offer, looking for a season around 65 to 70 games, with the continued expectation of fully prorated salaries.
Regardless, now that the owners have finally come to terms with a pro-rata compensation plan, a shortened season appears at hand, with the final logistics soon to come.