Major League Baseball never even got its regular season off the ground when the coronavirus pandemic shut down spring training. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced that the league would be a part of the healing process, but the league is still suspended.
Major League Baseball is running out of time to get their 2020 regular season underway, and they are falling behind other leagues. Both the National Basketball Association and the National Basketball Association have announced plans to return, but Major League Baseball cannot come to an agreement.
The issue of prorated salaries is the major sticking point that the two sides cannot agree on, and the sides simply can’t make any progress. Both sides have maintained that they are done negotiating with the other side, which further complicates things.
Major League Baseball recently sent a new proposal to MLB players, but they will not guarantee full prorated salaries, which won’t appease the players. MLB’s newest proposal issued on Friday calls for 72 regular-season games, and players could be paid up to 80 percent of their prorated salaries.
The league is also calling for an expanded playoff format, which will give teams and players a chance to earn some more money. This new proposal from the league would guarantee $1.27 billion, but that number could climb up to $1.5 billion.
This new proposal from the league also calls for teams to carry 30 players on their active roster at the beginning of the regular season. Rosters would eventually be shrunk down to 26 players after the first month, but the first proposal called for just 26 players the entire time.
Manfred has the power to implement a much shorter season if the two sides are not able to come to an agreement. Manfred has not announced when he will ultimately make that decision, but it could come soon if the two sides cannot agree.
The league is hopeful to end the regular season before the beginning of October, which is why the league is calling for fewer games to be played. Players are more focused on receiving their full prorated pay, but they would like to play more games than what the league is offering.
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Both Sides Keep Offering Proposals
May 6 was the first time that there was optimism about the 2020 regular season starting up. Teams started to tell their players to begin training for the upcoming season, but no official announcement came from the league.
In early May, the league was still hopeful that they would be the first professional sports league set to return, but that will not be the case.
On May 10, the league announced that an official return-to-play proposal would be delivered to the players, and that proposal was delivered just a few days later. MLB Players Association executives were critical of this initial announcement because they feared that the league was not thinking about the safety of the players.
On May 11, the owners officially approved a start date in late July, and it felt like things were starting to progress nicely. The proposal was presented to the players on May 12, and the league was expecting the proposal to be approved within two weeks.
Some minor discussions took place over the next few weeks, but the players officially denied the proposal from the league on May 27. The financial structure of the plan was the main reason that players turned it down.
June has seen the two sides send proposals back and forth, but neither side is willing to negotiate. It now feels like the league is farther apart in negotiations than they were in early May.