With everything going on in the United States right now the thought of playing baseball seems moot, but here we are as negotiations continued between the league and the players on Monday. When the initial report of a 50-game regular season came out yesterday I took that as a sign of progress. It may very well prove to be at some point but it still seems that there is quite a ways to go before we get to a deal for the 2020 season.
Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich reported in The Athletic Tuesday morning that while the league is considering a 50-60 game season for 2020, it is not yet planning to present that proposal to the Players Association. What we have is essentially a stand off where the players want the pro-rated salaries that they agreed to in March with the league countering by shortening the season to further reduce those salaries.
At this point, Rosenthal and Drellich report that the league did not make a counter proposal and that there are currently no further negotiations scheduled.
One thing to keep an eye on is that MLB believes that the March agreement might allow them to unilaterally implement a schedule. The union could ultimately object which would likely lead us nowhere.
The report points out that there isn’t a clear deadline. The fewer the games played, then the longer both sides can argue. However, if they hope to have a regular season that would begin in early July, then they will need to have an agreement in place that would allow a second Spring Training to start sometime in early to mid-June.
Of course if you are wondering what would happen should everything fall apart, Rosenthal and Drellich covered that as well.
If everything falls apart, the recourse for either side — and possibly for both — would be to file a grievance. But a hearing in front of an arbitrator would be a destructive and time-consuming process that likely would lead to the cancellation of the 2020 season. Such an outcome still seems unlikely.
Let’s hope that it stays unlikely.