MLB commissioner Rob Manfred may have the worst-case scenario on his hands. Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

As MLB owners and players continue to fight it out over arrangements for a 2020 season, hope seems to be decreasing that baseball will be played this year.

Amid both sides locked in a stalemate over safety concerns, financial guidelines and the length of a potential season, the mood seems to be shifting from optimistic to doubtful for the 2020 MLB season.

MLB and the players’ union have swapped proposals in recent weeks that would help outline a 2020 season. Unfortunately for baseball fans, neither side is remotely close in their negotiations with demands far apart and little ground being made up.

Now, according to the Star-Ledger‘s Bob Klapisch, the mood around the league is headed south. In fact, even sides that were optimistic for the 2020 MLB season are now starting to allow doubt to creep in.

On Thursday, the MLB Players Association released a statement rejecting the league’s proposal for a 48-game season. The idea, being pushed by league owners, would result in players receiving prorated portions of their salaries and taking significant pay cuts as a result.

The suggestion came after MLB rejected an offer from the players union for a 114-game season that would run through October. While it would provide fans with more baseball, the league has suggested it would deliver a huge financial blow to a majority of teams.

MLB suggested it will lose $4 billion if players receive prorated salaries, which was agreed to in March, and fans can’t attend games. Under the MLBPA’s proposal, it would have cost the owners even more money due to the additional games.

The MLBPA’s offer came after it rejected a proposal from the league for an 82-game season that would require some players to take more than a 70 percent reduction in salary. While it would soften the blow for players toward the bottom of the pay scale, it would still be more than the 50 percent reduction agreed to in March. The idea was rejected almost immediately by the players.

Given some owners are reportedly willing to shut down baseball for 2020, to save money, it doesn’t look promising for the 2020 MLB season.

Given the collective bargaining agreement with the players ends after 2021 and tension between owners and players is increasing, a complete stoppage would do significant damage to baseball for years to come.

This article first appeared on Sportsnaut and was syndicated with permission.

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