The negotiations between Major League Baseball and the players’ association regarding how to go about a baseball season in 2020 have been contentious to say the least.
We have had disagreements ranging from the health and safety protocols to what the original agreement in March even means to squabbles over money and the number of games that would be played. To be blunt, neither side has looked great from a strictly public optics perspective and, more importantly, the two sides are running out of time to make a deal.
While it has seemed like the two sides are miles apart, one common theme has been that both sides are eyeing a return to games at the beginning of July with spring training finishing up during June. Well, it is June now and this is where we are at with the negotiations.
MLB rejected the union’s proposal for a 114-game season and said it would not send a counter, sources tell The Athletic. The league said it has started talks with owners about playing a shorter season without fans, and that it is ready to discuss additional ideas with the union.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 3, 2020
The league dismissing the players’ proposal was hardly unexpected as the two sides were far apart on a number of issues, but the league essentially scrapping these negotiations and saying that they will not be countering with another proposal is not good news. Sure, there is likely to be some spin regarding the benefits of what the league wants (which is a season closer to 50 games) and their optimism about negotiations, that the league has so quickly pivoted away from a longer season combined with the players balking at what the league has been proposing financially leaves....not a lot of optimism at the moment.
There is still time to make a deal and it does seem pretty clear that a lot of players have already been working to get themselves in shape just in case they have to head to camp soon. However, that the two sides are basically having to start from scratch during the first week of June is not ideal.