You're not alone if you feel negotiations between Major League Baseball owners and the MLB Players Association for a 2020 season is a process of one step forward, two steps back.
As expected, owners rejected a proposal from the players on Wednesday for a season that included 114 games. Talks between the two sides are ongoing, and Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported that owners could push for a season with 48 to 54 games if player salaries are to be prorated for a pandemic-shortened season.
Owners originally asked players to accept a revenue-sharing offer.
What caught some off guard during this week, though, was both Sherman and MLB Network insider Jon Heyman tweeting how individuals from the two sides are more pessimistic about MLB hosting a season at all this year:
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
There’s more pessimism today w/rejection of union offer, but smart folks still believe things will be worked out. While it hasn’t been offered, belief here is players might do 82 games at full pay. And owners would come up from 40% paycut offered. Would 20% cut and 90 games work?— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) June 3, 2020
Heyman and Brendan Kuty of NJ.com both mentioned that players have campaigned for an 82-game season.
Sherman also described what could be a final offer from owners: "The concept is between a 40-60-game regular season, but the expectation is they would center it more at 48-54 games.
"MLB would essentially be giving the union a choice of three months worth of games but not at full prorated pay, or two months at a prorated total."