The Major League Baseball Players Association has voted against MLB ownership’s recent proposal for a 60-game season. The vote was 33-to-5 against the proposal.
Craig went over details of what the proposal included earlier:
- 60 games at full prorated salaries;
- Salaries will NOT be guaranteed in the event games are not played;
- The playoff pool for players will be $25 million, minimum;
- If fewer that 50 games are played then playoffs will NOT be expanded for the 2021 season and the DH will NOT apply to the 2021 season;
- There will be no salary relief with respect to the $170 million the owners advanced the players in early April. The players had requested that some of that be transformed from an advance on future salaries to a one-time payment;
- No modifications will be made to the qualifying offer system.
This almost certainly means that, in order for there to be a 2020 season, commissioner Rob Manfred will decide on the length of the season himself as was agreed upon by both sides back in March. It is believed that the owners would like a season in the neighborhood of 50 games. The MLBPA’s rejection also leaves them with the option to file a grievance.
MLB spring training facilities were recently shut down after COVID-19 outbreaks in Phillies and Blue Jays camps. The two sides will still have to agree on health and safety protocol, but against this backdrop, there is a possibility that players could choose not to participate.
Lastly, Manfred’s mandating of a season will have an effect on negotiations for the next collective bargaining agreement. The current agreement expires on December 1, 2021, and the two sides were already on shaky ground before the pandemic. That they were unable to find a compromise on a 2020 season speaks to the difficulties that await them in the next 17 months and change.