Three hundred twenty-six million dollars. $10,880,000 per club. This, as ESPN's Jeff Passan explained in a column and while speaking on "Get Up" on Friday, is what separates MLB owners and the MLB Players Association in negotiations to start the season amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In short, the owners are pushing for a 48-game schedule with pro-rated salaries for the pandemic-shortened season. Players, meanwhile, want 82 games with pro-rated pay.
The union announced on Thursday night it rejected the league's request for additional concessions.
MLB insider Jon Heyman reported last week that MLB was targeting June 10 for the start of spring training 2.0. That is no longer an option, however, as players and other personnel haven't quarantined or undergone mass testing protocols in preparation for a preseason resumption.
Despite growing pessimism among both parties and outside observers that the owners and players will put pen to paper on an agreement, Passan gave fans some reason for hope on Friday while speaking with Mike Greenberg:
"I think they're going to figure it out. I think there's going to be baseball back on the field this season. It just depends on what it's going to look like.
"Remember that MLB has the option of unilaterally implementing a schedule. (MLB commissioner) Rob Manfred can come and say 'we're gonna play 48 games this year whether you guys like it or not' per the March agreement that they have.
"Now, the players can say 'you're not gonna have expanded playoffs. You're not gonna have mic'd up players. You're not gonna have any help from us with your business ventures going forward.' But I would like to believe that there is a place in the middle where they can meet, where they can get a representative schedule. Because 48 games just simply doesn't cut it."
In March, owners and players agreed to pro-rated salaries for a shortened campaign, but the league retained the authority to determine the number of games played through the playoffs and World Series.
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