Can MLB and MLBPA reach an agreement for a season to begin shortly that will allow the players to begin playing baseball once again?
Excuse me if I don’t hold my breath on this one. There have been plenty of proposals and counter-proposals over the past month that have been rejected by the owners and the MLBPA with no real traction to anything getting done so far. There will come a time when the sport reaches a threshold where there is no turning back.
If there is to be baseball this season, where the MLB league office, the owners, and the players can agree to a set number of games and players’ salaries, it must happen immediately. The idea of a 50-game season doesn’t make sense, in my opinion, and have it count toward meaningful baseball this summer.
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"“Rob Manfred is certain that Major League Baseball will take place this summer, but he is hopeful that it will come as the result of a negotiated agreement with the MLB Players Association, a circumstance that feels unlikely in the midst of contentious, seemingly unproductive negotiations over the past few weeks,” Alden Gonzalez writes."
The state of baseball has been paralyzed to an extent since the sport canceled Spring Training in the middle of March due to the threat imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. While other sports are moving to get back to business, including the NHL and NBA, both sides on the diamond cannot seem to agree on a logical solution that would have players resume baseball activities and prepare for a shortened season.
As Gonzalez continues…
"“Manfred, in his sixth year as MLB commissioner, said in an interview with ESPN broadcaster Karl Ravech on Wednesday that the league will soon provide a ‘responsive proposal’ to the latest offer from the MLBPA, which consisted of an 89-game season and full prorated salaries, and that he’s ‘100 percent’ sure there will be a season.”"
What’s at stake more than determining how games the league will get in before the end of the year is negotiations of players’ full prorated salaries, which the MLBPA and the league office agreed to in March.
There have also been discussions of an expanded playoff format and the uses of a universal designated hitter. The divisional alignment that is in place now will more than likely change where teams will face each other based on proximity to geographical location.
According to the story on ESPN.com, there could still be baseball even if the players do not agree to the terms offered by the owners. Manfred as the ability to give the go-ahead for a 48-game schedule with players receiving complete prorated salaries for the 2020 season.