6:36pm: An MLBPA announcement confirms the news. Per the release, the league informed the union that it will not schedule a season of over sixty games.
6:30pm: MLB has informed the MLB Players Association that it will not make a new proposal to the union in an effort to resolve the sides’ disagreement over the financial structure of the 2020 season, per Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic (via Twitter).
Just what that means for the potential resumption of play remains to be seen. One might think that commissioner Rob Manfred will simply declare a season length at full pro rata pay — the option that the league has long held in its back pocket, but which brings with it the potential for an open-ended grievance action.
Last we had heard, the league preferred not to take this step. Whether there may be an alternative means of resolving the matter is not immediately clear. Per the report, the league will consider its options over the weekend, which is perhaps yet another indication that the league believes it is well served by allowing time to trickle away.
This latest development comes on the heels of today’s run of worrisome indications that the coronavirus has already made inroads into MLB facilities even before the league has undertaken a resumption effort in earnest. Those reports reflect truly concerning developments. They also play into the hands of the owners that have evidently decided to take a hard line on the 2020 season.
It seemed just days ago that we were finally headed toward resolution on an attempted restart of the MLB campaign. Now, there’s as much uncertainty as ever — greater, perhaps, given the urgent need to launch a season in the immediate future if one is to take place at all.