Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association still can't get on the same page regarding the start to the 2020 regular season amid the coronavirus pandemic.
On Wednesday, MLB insider Ken Rosenthal reported that, as expected, league owners rejected a union proposal for a 114-game season that included pro-rated salaries. The league will approach the players to discuss conducting games at ballparks behind closed doors and without spectators during a much shorter campaign:
MLB rejected the union’s proposal for a 114-game season and said it would not send a counter, sources tell The Athletic. The league said it has started talks with owners about playing a shorter season without fans, and that it is ready to discuss additional ideas with the union.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 3, 2020
ESPN's Jeff Passan added that owners ultimately could lower the number of regular-season contests to 50, while Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported that owners want between 48 and 54 fixtures:
Major League Baseball made official what was expected since Sunday in formally rejecting the MLB Players Association’s 114-game proposal, sources tell ESPN. MLB is not countering, which brings the possibility of it implementing a 50-game season into play. First: @Ken_Rosenthal.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 3, 2020
MLB has rejected the union’s 114-game regular season proposal. They plan no counter. They are sititng on essentially implementing a 48-54-game season for full prorated salaries or 82-ish at less than prorated, sources tell The Post— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) June 3, 2020
Earlier this week, Brendan Kuty of NJ.com reported the MLBPA campaigned for an 82-game season but could balk at any proposals that would cut a standard campaign by nearly two-thirds, if not more.
Sherman indicated fans should be concerned following Wednesday's update when he tweeted that people "on both sides" seem more pessimistic about a big-league season occurring in any form this summer:
I have heard greater pessismism today from folks on both sides about MLB launching a season than at any point. People who previously thought the sides would find a way, now expressing at least greater doubt (often more than that).— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) June 3, 2020
In March, the owners and players agreed to a deal that included pro-rated salaries for a pandemic-shortened. The owners contend, though, that agreement was dependent on fans being welcomed to home ballparks around the country.
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