MLBPA chief Tony Clark has issued another statement through the union’s official Twitter feed. In it, he makes clear the union’s position regarding the present state of negotiations regarding the attempted launch of a 2020 season.
Clark characterizes his recent meeting with commissioner Rob Manfred as follows:
“In my discussions with Rob in Arizona we explored a potential pro rata framework, but I made clear repeatedly in that meeting and after it that there were a number of significant issues with what he proposed, in particular the number of games. It is unequivocally false to suggest that any tentative agreement or other agreement was reached in that meeting.”
The union did make clear yesterday, as reports emerged about a potential breakthrough, that it had not reached any formal agreement or even basic understanding. Today’s statement makes clear that the union believed the number of games for the 2020 season was a specific point of ongoing disagreement.
As for recent indications that ownership was upset that the union had issued a counterproposal, Clark says it isn’t just his side’s decision. Clark claims:
“In fact, in conversations within the last 24 hours, Rob invited a counterproposal for more games that he would take back to the owners. We submitted that counterproposal today.”
This public back and forth is obviously rather tiresome to follow. But the sides are obviously jockeying not only for immediate bargaining leverage, but also for potential position in the event that talks collapse and the dispute ends up in some kind of legal proceeding.