Major League Baseball has submitted a proposal for a 60-game season at full prorated pay to the MLB Players Association.
Under the owners’ proposal, the MLB regular season would begin July 19 and conclude in late September, with the 60-game schedule containing 10 days off, according to ESPN and The Athletic. The new offer also includes expanded playoffs in 2020 and 2021, and the waiving of any potential grievance.
Negotiations between the league and players are expected to continue and could result in a schedule of about 65 games, according to The Athletic.
The latest proposal comes after a meeting between MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and MLBPA executive director Tony Clark on Tuesday in Arizona. Manfred said the session produced the framework of a deal.
“At my request, Tony Clark and I met for several hours yesterday in Phoenix,” Manfred said in a statement Wednesday. “We left that meeting with a jointly developed framework that we agreed could form the basis of an agreement and subject to conversations with our respective constituents.
“I summarized that framework numerous times in the meeting and sent Tony a written summary today. Consistent with our conversations yesterday, I am encouraging the clubs to move forward and I trust Tony is doing the same.”
The latest offer is viewed as a significant step toward having a baseball season this year. MLB previously made three proposals to begin the 2020 season and the players’ union made two, but the parties were about $1 billion apart in guaranteed salary. MLB players were set to earn about $4 billion in total salaries before the coronavirus pandemic.
The MLBPA broke off negotiations Saturday, a day after the league’s previous proposal. The union told MLB it was done negotiating and for the league to go ahead and impose a season, but Manfred said the league wouldn’t while there was a threat of a grievance.
On Monday, Manfred said he was “not confident” that a 2020 season would take place. His comments were a reversal from his statement last week, when he said “unequivocally, we are going to play Major League Baseball this year” and labeled the chances at “100 percent.”
Manfred’s comments triggered a response from Clark, who revealed that players were “disgusted” over the commissioner’s threat to cancel this season after previously saying it would happen.
“Players are disgusted that after Rob Manfred unequivocally told players and fans that there would ‘100 percent’ be a 2020 season, he has decided to go back on his word and is now threatening to cancel the entire season,” Clark said in the statement.
“Any implication that the Players Association has somehow delayed progress on health and safety protocols is completely false, as Rob has recently acknowledged the parties are ‘very, very close.’ This latest threat is just one more indication that Major League Baseball has been negotiating in bad faith since the beginning.”
MLB and the players’ union reached an agreement in late March, with players agreeing to prorated salaries and guaranteed service time even if no games are played in 2020.
The league’s previous proposal to the players — which was declined — included 72 games and guaranteed 70 percent of their prorated pay, with a maximum of 83 percent after the postseason is finished.