Major League Baseball and the MLBPA seem to be progressing toward an agreement on a 2020 season, but there are still obstacles to overcome. The length of a potential campaign continues to serve as a stumbling block, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, who writes that “the mood soured by nightfall with the union seeking a longer schedule.”
There was more hope for peace earlier Wednesday when commissioner Rob Manfred, after a meeting with union chief Tony Clark, said the two sides had “a jointly developed framework that we agreed could form the basis of an agreement.” However, the union remains dissatisfied with the league’s proposed 60-game regular season that would take place over 70 days if it were to end Sept. 27, even though the players would earn 100 percent of their prorated salaries and, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post, a $25MM playoff pool.
The union offered an 89-game season in its most recent proposal, so there does still seem to be a lot of ground to make up. Indeed, the players at least want something closer to 70 games, Nightengale writes, though MLB doesn’t want to risk the playoffs extending beyond October because of COVID-19 fears. Notably, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned against late-October baseball on Tuesday. So, along with season length, health and safety measures are surely at the front of the minds of owners and players. Expectations are that they’ll pick up discussions again Thursday in hopes of reaching an agreement by the weekend, Nightengale reports.