On Monday, ESPN's Jeff Passan reported that MLB owners answered a proposal from the MLB Players Association for a 114-game season amid the coronavirus pandemic with a plan that could cut that campaign down to 60 or even 50 games.
Those hoping Passan's report meant fans were close to seeing big-league baseball may want to temper expectations.
Later that same day, Brendan Kuty of NJ.com reported that members of the union, specifically some of the league's highest-paid stars, will reject playing anything other than an 82-game season with pro-rated salaries.
The two sides agreed to pro-rated salaries for a pandemic-shortened season in March, but owners claim that deal should be amended or voided assuming fans won't be welcomed to ballparks. Owners had proposed a revenue split that the union has rejected.
MLB could still follow leagues such as the NBA, NHL, and MLS and hold games at "bubble sites" such as Las Vegas or Orlando. The Philadelphia Phillies and Texas Rangers are among organizations currently planning to hold spring training sessions at their home ballparks.
Kuty added that owners believe the March deal gives them the right to determine the length of the season. That doesn't necessarily mean the players have to accept any number of games presented to them before the proposed June 10 start date for spring training 2.0 reported by MLB Network insider Jon Heyman last week.
As of the first Monday in June, talks between owners and players to begin the season seem to be a process of one step forward, two steps back.