The league and Players Association were unable to reach an agreement, but we're still getting a 2020 MLB season.
Here's the latest...
June 23: 10:26 PM:
Now that the 2020 MLB season is officially set to begin on either July 23 or 24, many details about the 60-game season have been reported.
- The injured list will be for 10 days, though there will be a separate list for players who test positive for coronavirus or experience symptoms.
- MLB has the right to relocate teams to neutral sites for health reasons.
- All extra innings will begin with a runner on second base.
- There will be a universal designated hitter for the first time in MLB history.
- Teams will play 40 games against their divisional teams and 20 games against their interleague geographical counterparts (i.e. AL East vs. NL East).
- The 2020 trade deadline will be August 31, and players must be on a roster on September 15 to be eligible for postseason play.
June 23 8:44 PM:
The last hurdle standing in the way of starting the 2020 MLB season has been cleared, as the league and the Players' Association have agreed on health and safety protocols.
"All remaining issues have been resolved," the union said in a tweet."Players are reporting to training camp"
Earlier on Tuesday, the union let MLB know that players would be reporting for Spring Training 2.0 on July 1, which left the health and safety protocols as the only outstanding issue.
MLB will now put a 60-game schedule in place, with Opening Day set for the weekend of July 24-26.
In a statement, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said that the league has submitted a 60-game regular-season schedule for review by the Players Association.
"Major League Baseball is thrilled to announce that the 2020 season is on the horizon," Manfred said. "We have provided the Players Association with a schedule to play 60 games and are excited to provide our great fans with Baseball again soon."
June 23, 6:09 PM:
In the announcement of the 2020 MLB season, commissioner Rob Manfred said a schedule couldn't be set until the MLBPA 1) told the league that players could report by July 1 and 2) the "Operating Manual" containing the health and safety protocols was agreed upon.
Well, according to multiple reports, the first criteria has been met, as the union told MLB that players will be reporting for the second spring training next Wednesday and will play the 60-game season. For the Mets and Yankees, that means at their New York facilities instead of going to Florida. There have been players in Port St. Lucie and Tampa, but they will all be traveling north to convene here.
As reported earlier by SNY's Andy Martino, the start date for the 2020 season is on or around July 24.
Both sides are continuing work on the health and safety protocols, but reports are saying that shouldn't be an issue to get that finalized. Officially, the deal isn't set in stone until the Operating Manual is complete and everything is agreed upon.
June 22, 8:33 PM:
MLB has announced the 2020 season will take place, as the league said owners unanimously voted for commissioner Rob Manfred to schedule a season under the March 26 agreement.
Here's what the league is now asking of the MLBPA, which voted 33-5 to reject the league's last proposal on Monday:
- Let the league know by 5 p.m. on Tuesday whether players can report to camp within seven days (July 1).
- Whether or not the "Operating Manual" with the health and safety protocols in it is up to standard to complete a season.
A source told SNY's Andy Martino that the league is looking to start on or around July 24. He also confirmed that it will be a 60-game schedule if the PA says players can report by July 1, and that the Operating Manual is good in their eyes.
The memo also stated all the points they viewed as benefits for the players and the league, like the universal DH for two years, guaranteed $25 million in playoff pools for players, overall earning for players of 104 percent of prorated salary, and more, that will no longer be in place.
June 22, 6:03 PM:
The Players have voted down the 60-game proposal from MLB, with multiple reports saying that the results were 33-5 against an agreement.
"The MLBPA Executive Board met multiple times in recent days to assess the status of our efforts to resume the 2020 season," a statement from the MLBPA read. "Earlier this evening, the full Board reaffirmed the players' eagerness to return to work as soon and as safely as possible. To that end we anticipate finalizing a comprehensive set of health and safety protocols with Major League Baseball in the coming days, and we await word from the league on the resumption of spring training camps and a proposed 2020 schedule."
So what happens now? What MLB commissioner Rob Manfred was trying to avoid -- scheduling a season without an agreement between the owners and players -- might have to be implemented now to make sure there's baseball this season. However, negotiations are not entirely done at this point, although the MLBPA's statement might say otherwise.
"We don't know that negotiations are done. We just know that this was voted down," SNY's Andy Martino said on Baseball Night in New York: Living Room Edition on Monday.
Martino reported earlier on Monday that "we could be very close to the endgame." Manfred was supposed to be on ESPN to make an announcement, but with negotiations continuing this afternoon, that hasn't happened yet.
June 22, 2:08 PM:
SNY's Andy Martino reports that "we could be very close to the endgame" regarding a decision on the 2020 MLB season and whether it will be agreed to by the league and MLBPA or implemented by commissioner Rob Manfred.
"Something appears to be percolating," Martino noted.
Manfred is expected to be on ESPN on Monday afternoon while negotiations continue behind the scenes as Manfred continues to hope for an agreement over potential implementation.
The MLBPA was initially expected to vote on the 60-game framework (and reject it) on Sunday. That vote was then reportedly pushed to 3 p.m. on Monday and then pushed back again to 5 p.m., according to Jim Bowden of The Athletic.
June 22, 9:49 AM:
The players did not proceed with the vote on the 60-game framework on Sunday due to new information from commissioner Rob Manfred, who called MLBPA chief Tony Clark and also sent a letter offering to amend that framework, reports Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic.
As part of an olive branch to the players, Manfred offered to remove some 2021 components to the deal (the universal DH and expanded playoffs for that season) if the potential 2020 season is not played to completion due to the coronavirus pandemic.
While Manfred is trying to get a deal done, Rosenthal and Drellich report that it's "unclear" whether anything other than a "significant" increase from 60 games would lead to the players agreeing to a deal.
SNY's Andy Martino reported earlier Sunday that Manfred, who prefers a deal to implemeting a season, "appears to be doing all he can to improve offer and avoid having to set a schedule."
June 21, 3:26 PM:
It was expected that a vote was going to take place Sunday on whether or not the players would accept the league's 60-game proposal. However, due to the recent outbreak of the coronavirus in various states across the country, USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale said no vote was taken because it changes the "dynamics" of the proposal.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred also said this to MLBPA's executive director Tony Clark in a letter on Sunday, via The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal:
"I really believe we are fighting over an impossibility on games," he said.
The proposal still remains at 60 games, but spring training will need to be pushed back because teams need to relocate from Florida. Manfred says the earliest players could report to their respective camps is June 29.
Also, in what appears to be the last reach by Manfred to the Players' Association, the MLB commissioner's letter to Clark had an offer to cancel expanded playoffs and the universal DH for 2021 if a full season isn't played this year, per ESPN's Jeff Passan.
Passan adds "players are concerned about giving up leverage of playoffs" with nothing in return.
June 21, 11:13 AM:
The players will vote on Sunday on whether or not to accept the league's framework of a 60-game season that would begin around July 19 and end on Sept. 27, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
Nightengale had reported early Saturday evening that the players planned to wait "several days" to vote in order to gather more information regarding health and safety protocols that would be part of the season in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
It is not clear if anything changed between Saturday and early Sunday regarding the health and safety protocols.
The expectation has been that the players will reject the 60-game framework, which would lead to one of three eventual outcomes: The two sides coming to a different agreement, commissioner Rob Manfred mandating a season, or the season not happening at all.
June 20, 6:15 PM:
With negotiations at a standstill, the Players Association seemingly only has two choices: approve MLB's latest proposal, which was for 60 games at the full pro-rated salaries -- the "framework" that commissioner Rob Manfred and Tony Clark discussed face-to-face in Arizona -- or decline the proposal and let Manfred implement a season that could be in the range of 50-54 games.
According to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, the players will delay voting on that latest proposal for "several days" as they gather more information on health and safety protocols, given certain states seeing substantial spikes in coronavirus cases.
SNY Insider Andy Martino confirmed a report from MLB Network's Jon Heyman that former Met Daniel Murphy is the one member of the eight-person Players Association Executive Board who is likely to vote yes to MLB's proposal, though things could change in the coming days.
June 20, 10:11 AM:
The next 48 hours or so will tell us if the owners and players can come to an agreement, according to SNY's Andy Martino.
Martino added that Friday night, sources who had been optimistic all along no longer were, and that it has never felt worse. Though, not all hope is lost.
Per Martino: If Rob Manfred schedules a 50-some game season with no expanded playoffs and acrimony, we'll all have more reason to be worried about the future of the game heading into the next CBA.
June 19, 8:03 PM:
MLB will not make a counter-offer to the Players Association's 70-game proposal.
The Players Association released a statement on Friday night, saying:
MLB has informed the Association that it will not respond to our last proposal and will not play more than 60 games. Our Executive Board will convene in the near future to determine next steps. Importantly, Players remain committed to getting back to work as soon as possible.
Following Rob Manfred and Tony Clark meeting face-to-face in Arizona, MLB believed it had established a "jointly developed framework" for a 60-game season, though the union claimed no official proposal was made. The players then countered at 70 games of full pro-rated salaries.
An MLB-implemented 50-game season could be on the horizon.
Per MLB Network's Jon Heyman, players are expected to take a vote soon on whether to accept the 60-game "framework deal" or let Manfred set a season somewhere between 50-60 games.
June 18, 5:21 PM:
Following the MLBPA's latest counter-offer for a 70-game season, commissioner Rob Manfred has spoken out.
"This needs to be over," said Manfred, via USA Today's Bob NIghtengale. "Until I speak with the owners, I can't give you a firm deadline.''
Manfred also told USA Today that he met union executive director Tony Clark in Arizona to strike a deal, denying that it was only a proposal.
"I don't know what Tony and I were doing there for several hours going back and forth and making trades if we weren't reaching an agreement," Manfred said.
June 18, 2:10 PM:
The MLBPA has sent a counterproposal to the league that calls for a 70-game season and includes a split of postseason revenue, reports Jeff Passan of ESPN.
The proposal from the union comes on the heels of the "jointly developed framework" that Rob Manfred and Tony Clark reached together during face-to-face meetings earlier this week.
That framework called for a 60-game season that began around July 19 and paid players their full prorated salaries.
According to SNY's Andy Martino, there are not "good vibes" at the moment due to the belief of some owners that the union is countering something that wasn't actually a proposal.
Martino, who notes that getting the owners to agree to 60 games was "a big internal win" for Manfred, said it's not going to be easy to get some owners to sign off on adding additional games.
Per Martino, there is some thought again of the league implementing the schedule, though an agreement is still preferable.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the new proposal from the union would have spring training starting beginning between June 26 and 28, with the regular season ending on Sept. 30. It also includes "neutral site/quarantine" framework if the postseason needs to be moved, and the ability of teams to sell patches/advertisements on uniforms in 2020 and 2021.
If the two sides are able to meet somewhere in the middle of 60 and 70 games, the belief is that a deal to begin the season could be reached quickly.
June 17, 3:37 PM:
Rob Manfred released a statement Wednesday after meeting with Tony Clark.
"At my request, Tony Clark and I met for several hours yesterday in Phoenix," the statement reads. "We left that meeting with a jointly developed framework that we agreed could form the basis of an agreement and subject to conversations with our respective constituents. I summarized that framework numerous times in the meeting and sent Tony a written summary today. Consistent with our conversations yesterday, I am encouraging the Clubs to move forward and I trust Tony is doing the same."
The new proposal the league has sent to the union calls for a 60-game season that begins around July 19, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
While the two sides are moving in the right direction, SNY's Andy Martino reports that there was "immediate skepticism" on the players' side that the 60-game number wil be agreed to.
Additionally, Martino noted that some on the players' side were also unhappy with what they perceived to be a "close to deal" leak that came soon after the face-to-face meetings between Manfred and Clark.
June 17, 2:24 PM:
The league and union are closing in on an agreement to play the 2020 season, reports Jon Heyman, who adds that the deal is expected to be for prorated pay and include an expanded postseason.
MLB sent the new proposal to the MLBPA earlier Wednesday, according to Evan Drellich of The Athletic.
Players had been holding firm on their demand for 100 percent prorated pay, which the league did not offer in any of its prior proposals.
After commissioner Rob Manfred cast doubt on the season earlier this week, he requested a meeting with union chief Tony Clark, with the two meeting in-person over the last two days in Arizona.
June 17, 1:38 PM:
Rob Manfred and Tony Clark had a face-to-face meeting in Arizona, SNY's Andy Martino confirmed.
Jon Heyman reported that the meeting was "produtctive" and was called at Manfred's request.
According to Martino, Manfred's intent earlier this week when he did an about-face and said he was not confident in the season happening was to re-start the negotiation process.
Since Manfred's comments on ESPN, players around the league have been united in their request -- especially on social media -- for the league to tell them "when and where" to report for spring training and the regular season.
June 16, 2:24 PM:
Rob Manfred and the players still want a deal, though there are now six owners who would cancel the 2020 season, SNY's Andy Martino reported on Tuesday.
Despite the feelings from some owners and the bombshell dropped by Manfred on Monday when he did an about-face regarding his confidence in the season happening, Martino reports that many people on both sides remain optimistic that a deal will be reached.
According to Martino, if the league makes "any offer that involves full prorated salaries," a deal will "come quickly" and will also include two years of expanded playoffs.
The league has so far been reluctant to offer the players full prorated salaries, with the union holding firm in its refusal to accept anything less than 100 percent prorated.
If the league imposes a season -- as the players seemingly demanded this past weekend -- it would be leaving itself open to a grievance and litigation while also very likely costing itself the expanded playoffs for this season and next and the revenue that would come from it.
June 15, 6:45 PM:
The MLBPA has responded to Rob Manfred's comments on the 2020 season, where he said he was "not confident" one will be taking place this year.
MLBPA executive director Tony Clark's full statement is below:
Major League Baseball Players Association Executive Director Tony Clark today released the following statement: pic.twitter.com/ibyOqB93WC- MLBPA Communications (@MLBPA_News) June 15, 2020
"Players are disgusted that after Rob Manfred unequivocally told Players and fans that there would '100%' be a 2020 season, he has decided to go back on his word and is now threatening to cancel the entire season," Clark's statement said.
June 15, 4:56 PM:
Commissioner Rob Manfred said on ESPN that he is not confident there will be a 2020 baseball season.
"I'm not confident," Manfred said. "I think there's real risk. And as long as there's no dialogue, that real risk is gonna continue."
"It's just a disaster for our game, absolutely no question about it," Manfred added. "It shouldn't be happening, and it's important that we find a way to get past it and get the game back on the field for the benefit of our fans. ... The owners are 100 percent committed to getting baseball back on the field. Unfortunately, I can't tell you that I'm 100 percent certain that's gonna happen."
Speaking last Wednesday on live TV in advance of the MLB Draft, Manfred guaranteed the season would happen.
Since then, the players -- as expected -- rejected the latest offer from the league, seemingly seeking to end negotiations when union chief Tony Clark told the league to tell the players when and where to report for spring training.
According to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, in a letter sent to the union on Monday, the league told the MLBPA that the 2020 season will not happen unless the union waives "any legal claims against the league" over an imposed season.
Per SNY's Andy Martino, there was a lot of anger from the owners during Monday's call due to the perception that the union sought to stop negotiations and what they viewed as a threat by the union to file a grievance if a season is imposed.
According to Martino, while there's hope that the sides will start talking again, there are still many things to negotiate, including health and safety protocols, rules of play such as the universal DH, and the length of the postseason.
Additionally, the league did not respond to the MLBPA on Monday, as the MLBPA had demanded.
June 15, 11:56 AM:
With union chief Tony Clark insinuating in a statement on Saturday night that the union side was done negotiating, MLB owners held a conference call on Monday to discuss next steps when it comes to the 2020 MLB season.
Commissioner Rob Manfred has the right, per the March 26 agreement, to implement a season. However, doing so would almost certainly mean the players saying no to the extended postseason of up to 16 teams that had been in the most recent proposal from the league.
If a season is imposed, the players could also file a grievance, though they (at least the ones who don't opt out of the season) are expected to report for spring training if a season is imposed, SNY's Andy Martino has reported.
While the league could make another proposal to the players instead of simply implementing a shorter season and telling them when to be at spring training, Jon Heyman reports that the "early word" is that there is not "much appetite" from the league regarding the potential of another proposal.
June 13, 10:12 PM:
MLB released a statement on Saturday night, saying the league is "disappointed that the MLBPA has chosen not to negotiate in good faith over resumption of play."
In the statement, the league expresses that it's made three proposals that would provide "an amicable resolution to a very difficult situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic."
"The MLBPA's position that players are entitled to virtually all of the revenue from a 2020 season played without fans is not fair to the thousands of other baseball employees that Clubs and our office are supporting financially during this very difficult 2020 season," the statement continues.
MLB concluded the statement by saying it will evaluate the union's "refusal to adhere to the March 26 agreement," and will determine the best step to move forward.
June 13, 7:30 PM:
The union, as expected, has rejected MLB's latest offer for a 72-game season with 80 percent pro-rated salaries and will not counter the offer.
The players have asked the league how many games it expects to play, along with when players should report for spring training.
In a statement, MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said that "further dialogue with the league would be futile," since the union has already agreed to billions in monetary concessions while making "additional proposals to inject new revenues into the industry -- proposals that would benefit the owners, players, broadcast partners, and fans alike."
"It's now become apparent that these efforts have fallen upon deaf ears," said Clark.
Even with no new deal, commissioner Rob Manfred can impose a season, per the March 26 agreement with the players.
"It's time to get back to work," said Clark. "Tell us when and where."
Per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the union has demanded an answer from the league about its plans by end of day on Monday, as there are still issues concerning "on-field rules, player transactions, rosters and other items, not health and safety protocols."
June 12, 4:05 PM:
After SNY's Andy Martino reported earlier that the league would propose a season of exactly 72 games on Friday in its latest proposal to the players, that proposal has now reportedly been made, Martino confirms.
According to Martino, this latest offer, which is for 72 games at 80 percent pro rata, would pay players more than the 48-game season at 100 percent pro rata that commissioner Rob Manfred could impose.
MLB wants to err on the side of caution, per Martino, and not cram in too many games per the recommendation of health officials.
MLB has been adamant about not wanting the season to extend into November due to a potential second wave of the coronavirus in the fall.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, if the deal were to be approved by the players, the league would announce the timeline for resuming play within 48 hours, including a 21-day spring training.
Also, ESPN's Jeff Passan reports that rosters would expand to 30 players for the first two weeks of the season, and then decrease gradually to 26 players, with a "taxi-squad" of other available players, giving teams a group of 60 total players.
The latest proposal from the players called for an 89-game season that would've meant the postseason extending well into November.
June 12, 10:42 AM:
The counterproposal the league will send to the players on Friday will call for a season of "roughly 70 plus games" with the league offering 80-to-85 percent of the players' prorated salaries and a playoff pool bonus, reports Karl Ravech of ESPN.
The most recent counter from the players was for an 89-game season at 100 percent pro rata (a salary demand the players insist they won't budge from).
Before the players countered with the 89-game proposal, the league had proposed a 76-game season with 50 percent of player salaries guaranteed at the prorated rate, with the prorated amount due to players rising to 75 percent in the event the postseason is played.
The season will be played one way or another, with commissioner Rob Manfred able to implement a shorter schedule if the two sides cannot reach an agreement.
But it behooves both sides to reach an amicable agreement, especially when considering the fact that the players will be under no obligation to say yes to the expanded postseason plan for this season if the season is forced upon them.
June 10, 5:54 PM:
Ahead of Wednesday's first round of the 2020 MLB Draft, commissioner Rob Manfred sat down for an interview with MLB Network, during which he said there will "100 percent" be a 2020 baseball season.
"We're going to play baseball in 2020. 100 percent," Manfred said. "If it has to be in that March 26 agreement, so be it. But, one way or the other, we're playing baseball."
Manfred also said that the league will present a new proposal to the players "that moves in the players' direction in terms of the salary issue" and is hoping that the players will back down from their demand for the full prorated salaries, though as SNY Insider Andy Martino notes, that's highly unlikely to happen.
Manfred added that his hope is to "reach a negotiated agreement" with the players instead of mandating a shorter season, though he noted that the 89-game proposal the players recently submitted is not feasible due to the fact that it would extend the season into November.
June 10, 3:25 PM:
If MLB and the MLBPA are unable to bridge the gap in negotiations, the result will be commissioner Rob Manfred mandating a season that could be as short as 50 or so games.
However, SNY's Andy Martino noted Wednesday that his belief is that the outcome will instead be an agreement on a season between 60 and 75 games, with Martino adding that the players' refusal to bend on their demand for 100 percent of their full prorated salaries does not seem like a bluff.
Martino further noted that players would "almost certainly" say yes to an offer of a season of roughly 72 games if they receive their full prorated pay.
In addition to and arguably more important than the optics of the two sides failing to agree and the season being absurdly short is that the players would be under no obligation to accept the expanded playoffs portion part of the current proposal if a shorter season is mandated by Manfred.
In its most recent proposal, the MLBPA came down from the demand for 114 games to 89 games. The league's latest proposal was for 76 games.
While the two sides are getting closer regarding the potential length of the season, the chasm that still exists over pay needs to be dealt with before time runs out on a potentially amicable resolution.
June 9, 9:25 PM:
SNY Insider Andy Martino reports that the dynamic between the players and MLB remains "angry and toxic" following the Players Association's latest proposal for an 89-game season at the full prorated pay.
Over the past few days, per Martino, MLB has begun to realize that the union is truly unwilling to back off its demand for full prorated salaries. This has deeply upset the owners, who do not feel that they agreed to that on March 26.
Martino also notes that perhaps a 70-75 season at the full prorated pay could the best compromise for both sides, as neither side wants a 50-game season.
June 9, 8:09 PM:
The Players Association has made a counter offer to MLB for an 89-game season at the full prorated salary. per ESPN's Jeff Passan.
SNY's Andy Martino adds that the new offer includes two years of expanded postseasons, as well as player access such as mic'd up players for games.
Jesse Rogers of ESPN reports that the latest proposal would have the season start on July 10 and run until Oct 11, but Passan notess that MLB "is entrenched" in ending the season September 27, as to not move the playoff dates and affect TV networks.
MLB's latest offer to the players, which came on Monday, was for a 76-game season at 75% of the prorated salaries that were previously agreed to on March 26. The last time the players countered, it was for a 114-game season, meaning that this new offer is roughly just two-thirds the length of the previous one.
Martino broke down the basic problem behind starting the 2020 regular season, that the league wants to negotiate pay and the players do not, describing the matter as "an enormous disconnect."
June 8, 9:25 PM:
In his latest piece, SNY's Andy Martino broke down the basic problem behind starting the 2020 regular season, and it's one that many fans are privy to already:
MLB wants to negotiate pay. The players don't. Martino is describing it as "an enormous disconnect."
Players are taking the March 26 agreement that said they would be paid fully prorated as finite. The league thinks otherwise and because of that totally opposite way of thinking, both sides don't even know where to start a negotiation.
Still, the MLBPA will speak either late Monday or early Tuesday to see what they will do with the league's latest proposal that had 50 percent guaranteed in prorated salary, with 75 percent going to the players if there is a postseason. Whether or not to reject it or counter it will be the discussion on the proposal that generated laughter and anger, Martino said on Baseball Night in New York: Living Room Edition.
Martino is still hearing from sources that the season will be going on if an agreement on pay doesn't come. MLB has the power to start a season based off that March agreement, but with a shorter schedule that could be as little as 48 games. Martino believes it will be around 60, though.
June 8, 2:24 PM:
In the new proposal from the league, which is expected to be rejected, there is the potential that two additional playoff teams would be added, reports Jon Heyman.
The league was already working off a template where the playoffs would expand from five teams in each league to seven teams in each league, meaning the added teams under the new proposal would bring the total number of playoff teams to eight in each league.
If the two sides are unable to agree on a deal, with the league instead implementing a season, the players are under no obligation to agree to an expanded playoff field.
June 8, 11:12 AM:
The league has submitted a new proposal to the players for a 76-game season, confirms SNY's Andy Martino, who reports the initial reaction from the players is one of anger.
The proposal includes the players potentially receiving 75 percent of their prorated salary, playoff pool money, and there being no draft pick compensation surrendered during the 2020 offseason for teams that sign free agents.
According to Evan Drellich of The Athletic, the players would only receive the 75 percent figure if there is a postseason, which the league hopes to complete before November in order to defend against a potential second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Martino, there is "continued rancor and disconnect on both sides" following the new offer, with the players holding firm on wanting 100 percent of their prorated salaries.
Breaking the numbers of the new offer down, Jon Heyman notes that players would earn 19 percent more under it than under the scenario where a shorter season (of 50 or so games) is put into effect by commissioner Rob Manfred. Additionally, Heyman notes that the players under the new offer would be taking a 25 percent pay cut instead of a 40 percent pay cut, with the sliding scale aspect of the league's prior offer removed.
June 6, 9:59 AM:
"If this was a marriage, it would be a divorce," one player agent told The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal, while describing the current relationship between Major League Baseball and the Players Association in a new piece about the reality of a July 4 start being all but gone.
SNY's Andy Martino reported Friday that the upcoming week will determine if the 2020 season starts in early or late July, not completely closing the door on the earlier start date.
The Athletic report explains how players feel that they would "devalue themselves" by accepting an MLB deal that includes more games but at a per-game discount: "There is no longer time to negotiate protection for the 2020-21 offseason as a tradeoff for reduced pay."
"The easy way to gin up players is to say, 'F--k this. We're fighting! We're fighting, we're fighting, we're fighting!" one agent told the outlet. "And players are like, 'Yeah, let's fight! Let's fight!' Then it's like, 'What are we fighting about?' 'Principle for 2021 negotiations!' If we give in now, we're going to give in then!'"
June 5, 2:44 PM:
SNY Insider Andy Martino reports that Major League Baseball may end up making another financial proposal to the players union after all, despite a belief earlier this week that it would not.
Per Martino, this week of negotiations will tell if the 2020 season starts in early or late July. Also, even if MLB does impose a 50-game season with no new financial agreement, players would still report for spring training, though that could eventually lead to a grievance from the players.
The players, according to Martino, are "more dug in on the issue of the further cut than we realized," and they do not accept the numbers published that team owners are claiming as financial loses due to the coronavirus pandemic.
June 4, 8:45 PM:
MLBPA executive director Tony Clark issued a lengthy statement on Thursday night following a call with the union's Executive Board, stating that while the players "want nothing more than to get back to work," the call for additional pay cuts by the league resulted in the latest 2020 season proposal being "resoundingly rejected."
"Earlier this week, Major League Baseball communicated its intention to schedule a dramatically shortened 2020 season unless Players negotiate salary concessions," Clark said. "The concessions being sought are in addition to billions in Player salary reductions that have already been agreed upon."
Clark went on to explain that this "threat" from the league came after the players proposed more games for this season and extended playoffs for two years, among other things.
Clark stated again that the players are ready to get back on the field and play, saying "Important work remains to be done in order to safely resume the season. We stand ready to complete that work and look forward to getting back on the field."
June 4, 12:33 PM:
Agent Scott Boras, who was blasted by Trevor Bauer last week for sticking his nose in the labor negotiations, is again weighing in on the situation.
"The NFL and college football -- contact sports -- could be playing in November, let alone December," Boras told The Athletic about Major League Baseball's refusal to play past October. "MLB, a social distancing sport, says it can't play playoffs in November. Apparently the NFL and NCAA medical experts think differently."
The comments from Boras come on the heels of the league's rejection of the 114-game proposal by the players, due in part to MLB not wanting to conduct the postseason largely in November, when a potential resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic could imperil it.
Rosenthal notes that financial considerations could also be "driving" the league's reluctance to have the postseason take place in November, with the league expecting a huge financial windfall due to the television rights for playoff games -- and there being even more money than usual to be made due to the expectation of an additional playoff round.
However, it should also be noted that the other leagues Boras is citing (the NFL and college football) would not be playing their respective postseasons in November, unlike the case with MLB if it agreed to a 114-game season.
June 3, 1:56 PM:
The league has rejected the latest proposal from the players and does not plan to counter, according to multiple reports, including one from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
According to Rosenthal, the league has started talks with owners regarding potentially playing a shorter season without fans in attendance, and is "ready to discuss additional ideas with the union."
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported that the league is "sitting on" the option of either having a 48-to-54 game season with players receiving their full prorated salaries or a season of roughly 82 games where players take an additional pay cut.
SNY's Andy Martino reported Monday that even if MLB and the MLBPA can't find common ground to start a season, it will likely be played anyway. That idea stems from the March 26 agreement between both sides, which gives commissioner Rob Manfred the ability to unilaterally begin the season -- though the players can file a grievance in that scenario.
Martino reported Wednesday that while the sides remain at odds over pay, they are expected to reach an agreement regarding health and safety protocols.
The latest proposal from the union, which asked for a 114-game season, was always expected to be rejected due to the fact that it would've meant the postseason going into late-November -- with the league wanting the postseason to end roughly a month before that due to the potential of a second wave of the coronavirus.
June 2, 7:51 PM:
During Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7, Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick dropped some news: MLB won't be playing in November.
"We don't want to take the risk of putting our players at jeopardy and our game in peril to be playing games beyond the end of October. So our model is and will never be changed that we will not be playing baseball in the month of November or later."
What that means is the MLBPA's counterproposal that had a 114-game schedule won't fly for the owners -- that would've had the season end on Oct. 31, pushing the postseason all through November. So there will need to be a compromise on the number of games, which the league will say is trying to make 50 games, but with pro-rated salaries in its next proposal.
June 1, 9:20 PM:
Even if MLB and the MLBPA can't find common ground to start a season, SNY's Andy Martino is saying that it will likely be played anyway. And it stems from the March 26 agreement between both sides.
Section II, Article A of that agreement stated "the Office of the Commissioner will construct and provide to the Players Association, as promptly as possible, a proposed 2020 championship season and postseason schedule (or multiple schedule options) using best efforts to play as many games as possible, while taking into account player safety and health, rescheduling needs, competitive considerations, stadium availability, and the economic feasibility of various alternatives."
As Martino put it in his latest article, "construct" and "provide" instead of using "negotiate" basically says the league can start a new schedule from that initial agreement. If that were to in fact happen, players would be pay their pro-rated salaries -- the original agreed upon compensation -- and it would probably be in the 50-game range, which ESPN first reported.
June 1, 5:20 PM:
In response to the MLBPA's proposal for a 114-game season where players would not make any further salary concessions, the league intends to propose a season potentially as short as 50-to-60 games where the players would be paid the full prorated share of their salaries, reports ESPN's Jeff Passan.
The league had initially proposed an 82-game season where players would take additional pay cuts beyond what was agreed to by the league and union on March 26. That proposal was countered over the weekend by the players when they refused any additional pay cuts and asked for the 114-game season.
SNY's Andy Martino noted that MLB being willing to pay players their full prorated salary -- even in a shorter season -- would be a huge victory for the players and also a win for MLB and commissioner Rob Manfred, who are "who are prioritizing saving the season over a little negotiating win."
June 1, 11:42 AM:
With the league having received a counterproposal from the MLBPA on Sunday that included no further salary reductions, the regular season schedule growing from 82 games to 114 games, expanded playoffs, an opt-out for high risk players, and salary deferrals in the event the postseason is canceled, the owners are holding firm on two things, per Evan Drellich of The Athletic.
The first is that the schedule cannot be as long as 114 games, and the second is the need for further salary concessions by the players.
According to The Athletic, MLB and the MLBPA had a meeting on Sunday after the proposal was submitted.
That the owners are refusing to budge on the need for further salary concessions is no surprise, with the agreement reached between the two sides on March 26 having language that revolved around further pay cuts in the event games are played without fans in attendance.
When it comes to the length of season, extending it to 114 games would almost certainly mean a postseason that takes place largely in November -- when a potential second wave of the coronavirus could imperil it.
May 31, 10:15 PM:
The MLBPA sent a memo to players earlier this weekend to say it was discussing what a counterproposal to the league's initial 82-game proposal would contain and when it would be sent to MLB.
Well, according to multiple reports, the MLBPA sent its counterproposal Sunday afternoon.
The contents contain the following, via multiple reports:
- A 114-game season, starting June 30 and ending on Oct. 31
- Players can opt out of the season if they don't want to play
- Deferrals of salary if there are no playoffs for players making $10 million of more
- Total $100 million in salary advance during spring training
- Two years of expanded playoff (matches MLB's proposal as well)
MLB has yet to respond to the counterproposal, but it may not be pleased with no further salary cuts -- the main reason why the MLBPA had a problem with the initial offer.
"No progress" is what one ownership source told MLB Network's Jon Heyman.
May 31, 11:16 AM:
With negotiations between the league and players seemingly at an impasse due in part to economic disagreements, the MLBPA sent a memo to the players earlier this weekend noting that it was weighing the timing and contents of a potential counterproposal to the league, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
Per Rosenthal, the memo discussed the league's economic proposal that called for additional salary cuts, saying that it "sought additional paycuts of more than $800M that it contends are necessary to make it economically feasible to play games without fans. ... Importantly, the union still awaits key documents from MLB that would support the dubious financial distress claims the league has made in its attempt to force the additional givebacks from players."
At the heart of the stalemate in negotiations is the players' position that the pay cuts they agreed to on March 26 should be the final pay cuts they receive. The position of the owners and the league is that the March 26 agreement left room to negotiate further pay cuts for players in the event regular season games in 2020 were played without fans in attendance, as the restart plan calls for.
With an agreement still not in sight and the league seeking to begin a second spring training around June 10 and Opening Day around July 1, the two sides are seemingly getting perilously close to a point where those starting dates may not be feasible.
May 28, 1:47 PM:
Agent Scott Boras, who represents Max Scherzer (who spoke out against the league's recent proposal on Wednesday night) and many other high profile players, has urged his clients to refuse any additional pay cuts, according to an email obtained by the Associated Press.
"Remember, games cannot be played without you," Boras wrote. "Players should not agree to further pay cuts to bail out the owners. Let owners take some of their record revenues and profits from the past several years and pay you the prorated salaries you agreed to accept or let them borrow against the asset values they created from the use of those profits players generated. ... please share this concept with your teammates and fellow players when MLB request further concessions or deferral of salaries."
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer lambasted Boras on Wednesday night when rumors began to circulate that the agent was sticking his nose in negotiations.
"Hearing a LOT of rumors about a certain player agent meddling in MLBPA affairs," Bauer tweeted. "If true - and at this point, these are only rumors - I have one thing to say... Scott Boras, rep your clients however you want to, but keep your damn personal agenda out of union business."
With it now known that Boras is seeking to influence the negotiations, the missive delivered by Scherzer on Wednesday night has lost a bit of its luster.
Meanwhile, as negotiations continue, the expectation remains that the two sides will reach an agreement, SNY's Andy Martino reported earlier Thursday.
May 28, 11:39 AM:
As the players dig in and prepare a counterproposal to the league that will ask for a longer season schedule and not include any further salary concessions, the players understand they will have to make other concessions -- with deferred payments potentially being among them -- in order to get the shortened season underway, reports SNY's Andy Martino.
With all of the above going on in the background, teams are actively planning spring training camps and working through the logistics of what it will take to televise games, according to Martino, who adds that players are preparing under the assumption that there will be a season.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently gave clearance for local sports teams to train in the state, which gives the Mets and Yankees (who had been expected to return to Florida for spring training) the option of instead having spring training in their home ballparks.
May 27, 11:21 PM:
The latest economic proposal from MLB to the players union on Tuesday was deemed unacceptable, as SNY's Andy Martino reports, and now Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer has spoken out publicly on the situation.
"After discussing the latest developments with the rest of the players there's no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions," Scherzer tweeted on Wednesday night. "We have previously negotiated a pay cut in the version of prorated salaries, and there's no justification to accept a 2nd pay cut based upon the current information the union has received.
"I'm glad to hear other players voicing the same viewpoint and believe MLB's economic strategy would completely change if all documentation were to become public information."
Martino has previously reported that the league's top earners would be asked to take roughly a 20-30 percent pay cut under MLB's proposal, with their salaries already being prorated due to the reduced number of games.
Martino has noted, though, that the latest proposal, and the reaction from players, "did nothing to change the industry expectation that MLB will launch its season in July."
May 27, 4:40 PM:
After receiving a salary proposal from the league on Tuesday that they deemed unacceptable, MLB players met virtually on Wednesday to discuss the proposal and will continue to do so, reports SNY's Andy Martino.
According to Martino, while the proposal on Tuesday led to some heated reactions from the players, it "did nothing to change the industry expectation that MLB will launch its season in July."
In addition to the issue of player salary, the two sides still need to hash out an agreement regarding the health and safety protocol, with the players believing the 67-page health and safety proposal shared last week by the league needs to be modified.
As far as when negotiations could start to get more serious and gain momentum toward an agreement? That could potentially happen by this weekend.
May 27, 11:17 AM:
The financial proposal the league shared with the players on Tuesday, calling for further reductions in player salary with the biggest hits taken by the biggest earners, was met with scorn.
Still, as negotiations continue, the expectation remains that a deal will get done, as SNY's Andy Martino reported late Tuesday afternoon.
With the goal being for a second spring training to start around June 10 and Opening Day to be around July 1, the clock is ticking.
Players and teams will need time to get all their ducks in a row before a second spring training begins, meaning a deal almost certainly has to be reached before that June 10 date (and perhaps well before it) in order for things to stay on schedule.
According to Jon Heyman, June 1 is the "soft" deadline, with June 5-10 the firmer deadline. As noted above, though, it's fair to wonder about the feasibility of the current timeline for spring training and the season if it takes until June 10 or close to it for a deal to be agreed upon.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today cited June 6 as a potential date the sides would need to reach a deal by in order to start the season by the weekend of July 4.
May 26, 5:58 PM:
Sources tell SNY's Andy Martino that MLB's financial proposal to the union would see the game's top earners taking a roughly-20-30 percent pay cut. Meanwhile, players earning the MLB minimum would still take home nearly all of their prorated salary.
Martino notes that this proposal pokes at the class divide among player salaries, essentially meaning that the highest-paid players are telling the lowest-paid players that they can't have their money.
"They've just taken the biggest problem in the union, the pay class divide, and flipped it on its head," a veteran role player told Martino. "And now they'll watch as the union tears itself apart as the highest paid fight back on this while the lowest paid say 'whoa whoa whoa, we like this!' The union will try to convince those young, naive players that it's in their interest to stand together, but it isn't."
While Martino notes that days of difficult decisions lie ahead, he maintains that "it remains our expectation, based on months of reporting, that the sides will strike a deal of some kind and begin the season."
May 26, 3:02 PM:
The new financial proposal submitted by the league has been approved by the owners and will now be presented to the players, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
At the heart of that proposal is the plan for how players will be paid, with Nightengale reporting that it revolves around a sliding scale where the highest-paid players would be impacted the most, while players earning less would take much smaller hits.
SNY's Andy Martino reported Tuesday that the owners and league have had enough talks with the players to believe the latest proposal can lead to quick dialogue, with the sides "apart, but not irresolvable" in negotiations.
Martino added that with talks continuing on Tuesday, there is still no reason to expect anything but an agreement and the eventual beginning of the shortened 2020 MLB season.
May 26, 11:34 AM:
With the league and Players Association resuming talks after the holiday weekend, MLB owners are expected to vote on the league's new financial proposal on Tuesday before presenting it to the union, reports Jon Heyman.
SNY Insider Andy Martino reported this past Thursday that MLB would soon make its first economic proposal to the players, and that an agreement on resuming the season could come soon after.
As far as what that agreement could look like, agents speculated to Martino that it will involve a modest across-the-board pay cut that includes deferrals, with Martino noting that outcome would look better to players than the 50-50 revenue-sharing idea that has been speculated on.
Some players had publicly pushed back on the revenue-sharing idea, and others have come out against any type of second pay cut.
But the expectation has been that in order for the economics to work without fans in attendance (at least at the outset), that a second pay cut would be necessary. The two sides are also working through health and safety protocols.
The target date to begin a second spring training has been June 10 or so, with the target date for Opening Day around July 1. And with players and teams needing lead time to prepare, the league and the players will likely need to get a deal done at some point this week or early next week in order for those target dates to be hit.
May 22, 6:23 PM:
MLB's new economic proposal for the 2020 season will be delivered to the Players Association on Tuesday, sources tell The Athletic's Evan Drellich.
May 21, 5:09 PM:
The Players Association issued a formal response to the league on Thursday regarding the 67-page health and safety proposal that had been shared with the players.
Among the topics touched on in the response from the union, per Evan Drellich of The Athletic, were the frequency of testing, protocols in the event of a positive test, protection for high-risk players and their families, and player access to pregame and postgame amenities/therapies in ballparks.
When it comes to the frequency of testing, the initial proposal submitted by the league called for players to be tested once every three days. The players would prefer for the testing to be more frequent.
May 21, 3:14 PM:
The Players Association plans to give its first official response to the league's 67-page health and safety protocol document on Thursday, SNY's Andy Martino confirmed.
The union said in a statement, per ESPN's Jeff Passan:
"The union has spent the past several days carefully reviewing the manual and gathering feedback from its medical experts and players across the league, including a 3 1/2-hour video conference with 100-plus player leaders on Monday night, and we expect to provide our initial feedback to the league today."
May 21, 1:31 PM:
With the clock ticking toward what likely needs to be a resolution over the next 10 days or so if the league wants to remain on track to begin a second spring training around June 10 and have Opening Day around July 1, the next week will be crucial.
SNY's Andy Martino reported Thursday that MLB will likely make its first economic proposal to the players in the next few days, and that an agreement on resuming the season could come soon after.
As far as what that agreement could look like, agents speculated to Martino that it will involve a modest across-the-board pay cut that includes deferrals, with Martino noting that outcome would look better to players than the revenue-sharing idea that has been speculated on.
The position of some players and agent Scott Boras has been that the pay cut players agreed to on March 26 should be the final pay cut. But the position of the owners has been that the agreement reached on March 26 included a stipulation that the two sides could seek further pay cuts for players in the event games are played in ballparks without fans in attendance -- something the owners argue is not economically feasible without further pay cuts.
May 21, 11:48 AM:
With the league and players still in a staring contest over the economics of the potentially shortened 2020 season, it's expected that the league will submit an economic proposal "by early next week," reports Jon Heyman.
In addition to the economic situation -- with there being increasing pressure on the players to accept an additional pay cut, as SNY's Andy Martino reported Tuesday -- there has been reported pushback from the players on the breadth of the health and safety protocols that were proposed by the league in a 67-page document.
Among the health and safety protocols some players are reportedly objecting to, according to Jesse Rogers of ESPN, are restrictions on the use of certain amenities at team facilities and the proposed guidelines for when teams are on the road -- where they would be expected to be basically quarantined in their hotel rooms when not at the ballpark.
May 20, 11:12 AM:
Over 130 players joined in on a conference call Monday night led by the union where the league's comprehensive health and safety proposals were discussed, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported.
According to Sherman, the union is expected to respond to the 67-page health and safety proposal at some point this week.
The proposal, which includes plans and guidelines for coronavirus testing, social-distancing measures, expected player behavior, and more, was submitted to the players last week.
May 19, 6:01 PM:
The league has not yet made an economic proposal to the players, and when it does, it won't necessarily be the revenue-sharing plan that the union considers a non-starter, people with direct knowledge of the process told SNY's Andy Martino.
According to Martino, the expectation remains that the two sides will reach an agreement to play the season and that any agreement will involve a further pay cut for players beyond the one they agreed to on March 26 that involved the players receiving a prorated share of their 2020 salaries.
The position of the players has been that the agreement they made on March 26 is the final salary agreement. But that position has been weakened due in part to a March 26 email that was recently unearthed by the New York Post.
In that email, MLB officials summarized to deputy commissioner Dan Halem a conversation with Players Association deputy general counsel Matt Nussbaum and director of analytics and baseball operations Greg Dreyfuss the position of the league that playing in empty stadiums without a further pay cut for players would not work economically.
May 19, 2:40 PM:
As negotiations continue to resume the season amid the coronavirus pandemic, the league recently gave the players two options, reports Jon Heyman.
The first option was to "negotiate a new financial agreement" for the players salary-wise that would be in place if the season resumes without fans in attendance.
The second option was to wait until the point where it's safe to resume games with fans in attendance.
The league, due to what it says would be financial losses incurred during a potentially shortened season without fans in attendance (at least at the outset of the season) has sought to reduce player salaries further from the deal that was reached on March 26.
With it not seeming feasible to wait until it's safe to resume games with fans in attendance to begin the 2020 season, it appears something will have to give at some point soon regarding the salary issue.
May 19, 9:19 AM:
Austin Hedges, a player rep for the San Diego Padres who has been involved in the negotiations between the league and the players, told the San Diego Union Tribune Monday night that he feels the two sides have been "getting stuff done" over the last 48 hours.
"I really do believe we're to a point where a decision will be made. … I feel very confident it's going to happen," Hedges said.
Hedges added that decisions are now being made instead of the two sides contemplating what-ifs, and spoke about the players making monetary sacrifices this season in order to position themselves better in the future.
"We've got to make sacrifices anyways," he said. "Let's make those sacrifices now with the future in mind. Everything we're working for is not to make this year extra special. It's let's get through this year as best we can and cut our losses but make sure 2021 and beyond the league is going to be in great shape."
Hedges said that he believes most players are on board, despite loud opposition from some key players regarding any additional pay cuts for the players.
"I think (most players) are on board," he said. "We want to play and bring home money to our families. … I think it will happen. Especially with what (Gov. Gavin Newsom) said today (about sports returning to California in June), I'm excited."
May 17, 11:36 AM:
In a presentation shared by the league with players regarding projected financial losses during a potentially shortened season, the league said the players' current prorated salaries would contribute toward an average loss of $640,000 per game.
The presentation, a copy of which was obtained by the Associated Press, was called "Economics of Playing Without Fans in Attendance," with the league saying it would lose more money with each additional game played.
Other details contained in the presentation:
- The Yankees (at $312 million in projected local losses) and Mets (at $214 million in projected local losses) would be two of the three hardest-hit teams under the current 82-game plan. The Dodgers are projected to lose $232 million.
- MLB broke down 2019 revenue as being 39 percent local gate and other in-park sources, 25 percent central revenue, 22 percent local media, 11 percent sponsorship, and 4 percent other.
The league seeking a further reduction of player salaries beyond the reduction players already took on March 26 has been a major issue as players and the league continue to negotiate toward a potential return, with some players (including Blake Snell and Trevor Bauer) outspoken against another reduction and others (such as Nolan Arenado) taking a more measured approach.
May 16, 12:55 PM:
The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich obtained a copy of the 67-page health and safety document that MLB sent to the Players' Union on Friday night. The extensive document lays out protocols for testing, spring training, facility operations, travel, and on-field operations.
Some of the notable protocols include:
- Regular testing for players, managers, coaches, umpires, and a limited number of essential staff members who are in close proximity to the players. All individuals will also have to take daily temperature checks at home before coming into the team facility.
- Spring training will be limited to 50 players per club, with staggered reporting dates. Clubs are also encouraged to use other local facilities, such as college fields, for split-squad games.
- Limited groups of essential personnel will be permitted into team facilities. This group includes essential on-field personnel, front office employees, public relations personnel, broadcast crews, law enforcement, EMTs, and others.
- Player lockers should be six feet apart, and clubs can use unused or outdoor space to construct temporary lockers if necessary. Players will not be permitted to high-five, fist-bump, or engage in any other physical interaction with others at team facilities.
- Players will not need to wear masks on the field, but they will need to be worn in the dugout, with all players six feet apart, using seats in the stands if necessary. Players will not be permitted to spit or use chewing tobacco or sunflower seeds in restricted areas.
- Pitchers will have individual baseballs for bullpen sessions. Also, a new baseball will be used any time a ball is put in play or multiple people touch it.
- When traveling, players won't officially be quarantined, but they will not be permitted to leave the team hotel without further approval, and only immediate family members will be permitted to visit players. Teams are also encouraged to fly into smaller airports when possible.
ESPN's Jeff Passan notes that MLB will issue 10,000 tests per week, and will also offer free coronavirus tests to all healthcare workers and first responders in MLB cites.
May 15, 1:05 PM:
In a wide-ranging conversation with Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado touched on recent comments made by Blake Snell and explained the current stance of the players.
"The public should know that we want to play baseball," Arenado said. "As long as it's right, as long as it's fair, we want to be out there. We want to go play. The misconception is that players don't want to play if it's not perfectly set up. That's not the case. We understand nothing is going to be perfect this year."
Arenado, who told Rosenthal that he's not personally concerned about returning to play, said he understood where Snell was coming from but also sees the other side of things.
"We're baseball players, right? We make great money. Regardless if we don't make the money we want, we're still making great money," Arenado explained. "A lot of people in this world are struggling a lot harder than us. Some people might see him as a complainer. Some people might agree with his views. At the end of the day, he made some points I agree with. But he also made some points where it's just going to be too hard to get everyone on our side."
May 14, 9:29 PM:
During an interview with CNN, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred outlined the league's coronavirus testing plan and also expressed his optimism for reaching a deal with the MLBPA.
"All of our players would be tested multiple times a week" for coronavirus, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred says on the efforts to bring baseball back. "That testing would be supplemented less frequently by antibody testing as well."#CNNTownHallhttps://t.co/zU95g1FwYr pic.twitter.com/J1MKyc5AJ0- Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) May 15, 2020
"I think it's hopeful that we will have some Major League Baseball this summer," Manfred said. "We are making plans about playing in empty stadiums, but as I've said before, all of those plans are dependent on what the public health situation is and us reaching a conclusion that will be safe for our players and other employees to come back to work."
As for reaching a deal with the players on reduced salaries for the season, Manfred said he's very optimistic a deal can be reached.
"Me, personally, I have great confidence that we'll reach an agreement with the Players Association," said Manfred. "Both that it's safe to come back to work and to work out the economic issues that need to be resolved."
Manfred confirmed that the league will use a facility in Utah to test players multiple times per week, with results available in 24 hours. If a player is experiencing symptoms, instant testing will be available.
If a player tests positive, he will be immediately quarantined until he tests negative twice, and any other player who came in contact with that player would receive instant testing.
Manfred was also asked about players potentially declining to play due to safety concerns.
"We hope that we will be able to convince the vast majority of our players that it's safe to return to work," Manfred said. "… At the end of the day, however, if there are players with either health conditions or just their own personal doubts, we would never force them or try to force them to come back to work. They can wait until they feel they're ready to come."
May 14, 1:57 PM:
MLB has partnered with a Utah lab in order to provide coronavirus testing to players and support staff, in addition to "thousands more in the general public," reports Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated, who says the testing plan was presented by the league to the Players Association on Tuesday.
The lab, The Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory, will turn its current lab (which currently performs testing for performance enhancing drugs) into a coronavirus testing facility.
Any return by MLB this season has been expected to include a coronavirus testing element, but there had been questions surrounding the ethics of potentially using thousands of tests on players during a time when many in the general public are still unable to get tested. It's fair to believe the above agreement would allay some of those concerns.
May 14, 9:24 AM:
As MLB and the Players Association continue to negotiate, one prominent agent told SNY's Andy Martino that there's "no question" some players will sit out the 2020 season due to concerns over contracting coronavirus and/or passing it to a family member.
As Martino wrote Thursday, those players will look at the possibility of taking a further pay cut from an already prorated salary and conclude the risk is not worth the reward.
Tampa Bay Rays ace Blake Snell expressed his hesitance on Wednesday night.
"I gotta get my money," Snell said on his Twitch channel. "I'm not playing unless I get mine, okay? And that's just the way it is for me. Like, I'm sorry you guys think differently, but the risk is way the hell higher and the amount of money I'm making is way lower, why would I think about doing that? Like you know, I'm just, I'm sorry."
Snell then texted Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times to explain further.
"I mean, honestly, it's just scary to risk my life to get COVID-19 as well as not knowing and spreading it to others. I just want everyone to be healthy and get back to our normal lives 'cause I know I miss mine!"
May 13, 11:19 AM:
The league's proposal to implement a universal designated hitter for the 2020 season is expected to be "easily approved" by the players, reports Jon Heyman.
One of the teams that could benefit the most from the potential use of the DH? The Mets, with Yoenis Cespedes, J.D. Davis, Robinson Cano, and Dominic Smith among those who could be beneficiaries of the extra hitter in the lineup.
When it comes to Cespedes, who has missed the majority of the last two seasons due to lower-body injuries, he could be the Met best-suited to DH.
May 13, 9:31 AM:
With the league and Players Association speaking Tuesday about the restart proposal (with the league not yet formally proposing its economic idea), the league will soon be sharing an 80-page document with the union "outlining potential health and safety protocols," reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
According to Rosenthal, the document will cover topics including testing protocols and what could happen if a player or other essential employee tests positive for coronavirus.
SNY's Andy Martino reported earlier this week that the sport would not necessarily need to shut down if a player tested positive.
May 12, 8:57 AM:
The "sentiment of several of the game's most prominent agents" is that a softer tone should be used during the negotiations -- not a tone similar to ones used by prominent player agent Scott Boras and MLBPA chief Tony Clark.
"He does not speak for all of us," one prominent agent told SNY's Andy Martino regarding Boras' aggressive public stance.
May 11, 8:26 PM
"The players I represent are unified in that they reached an agreement and they sacrificed anywhere from 30 to 40 percent of their salaries so that the games could amicably continue," Boras told Sports Illustrated's Stephanie Apstein. "The owners represented during that negotiation that they could operate without fans in the ballpark. Based on that, we reached an agreement and there will not be a renegotiation of that agreement."
May 11, 3:50 PM
When it comes to what would happen if a player tests positive for coronavirus after the season resumes, a league executive told SNY's Andy Martino that the sport would not necessarily need to shut down.
The scenario laid out by the executive:
The player who tests positive would be isolated, with the entire team receiving immediate coronavirus tests. At that point, any players found to have the virus would also be isolated and replaced by a member of the team's large taxi squad (which could consist of roughly 20 players). Players who do not test positive would continue to play.
May 11, 2:21 PM
With the proposal agreed to by the owners, the next step -- as SNY's Andy Martino reported earlier Monday -- will be that proposal being brought to the MLB Players Association on Tuesday.
During the call between the league and the players on Tuesday, it is expected that the players will be asked to take additional pay cuts beyond the already agreed-upon cuts that they took in March.