Finally, we may have hope in MLB-MLBPA negotiations.
In what feels like a slow, daily grind toward the inevitable conclusion of no baseball, we finally may have some hope in negotiations between MLB owners and players.
While reports on Wednesday afternoon detailed the owners’ rejection of a 114-game proposal by the players, as well as their subsequent decision not to counter, that pessimism is passing, per Reds executive Dick Williams.
Owners have finally agreed to prorated salaries for players, but are unwilling to play anything resembling a typical 162-game season. In fact, Rob Manfred’s bunch have gone as far as to suggest that a 40-50 game campaign is more reasonable, as to prevent the inevitability of falling off a financial cliff.
Reds executive Dick Williams thinks an MLB-MLBPA agreement is very close.
Should Williams be correct, it would come with concessions from both sides. The owners have already agreed to sacrifice some of their chump change in paying player salaries, while the MLBPA would be forfeiting financial gain due to the sheer lack of games.
Not playing a 2020 season while millions sit at home in the middle of pandemic and social uprising would bring with it a critical PR crisis MLB might not be able to recover from this time around. Look no further than the 1994 strike as to the damage and distrust felt by a fanbase after vacating a season’s worth of games: It’s never pretty.
To make matters worse, the current CBA expires after the 2021 season, meaning both sides will be called back to the negotiating table with nothing but ill will towards one another should an agreement not be reached soon.
The country needs baseball, but neither the owners or players have been willing to budge. Per Williams, that might change soon.