Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported on Friday evening that the owners will not counter the players most recent proposal for a 2020 season.
MLB has told Players Association it will not make a counter-offer to union’s 70-game proposal, sources tell me and @EvanDrellich. League talking with owners this weekend to discuss its next options moving forward. Last MLB offer: 60 games. Could try to implement in 50-odd range.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 19, 2020
This comes after a short period of optimism that the two sides would reach an agreement, following a meeting between commissioner Manfred and MLBPA president Tony Clark. It seemed likely that the sides would be able to find a compromise as the sides exchanged proposals that were very similar but with 60 and 70 games respectively.
There has been some reporting that the two sides somehow left the face to face meeting between the two heads in Arizona with different perceptions of what had been said. Despite the two sides being merely 10 games apart, that is apparently a divide that ownership is unwilling to try to meet the players in the middle of.
The owners had been expected to exercise their ability to unilaterally declare a shortened season with prorated salaries as was granted by the March agreement, but apparently the potential of a grievance from the players scared the owners away from doing that. The owners fear of a grievance combined with ever present health concerns revolving around the ongoing pandemic means that the two sides must come to an agreement for a season to realistically occur. Somehow with the sides a mere 10 games apart, the negotiations have once again stalled, putting the 2020 season back into substantial doubt after a short period of optimism.