Cubs' Jason Kipnis bluntly assesses MLB talks: 'The sides are too far apart'

Cubs' Jason Kipnis bluntly assesses MLB talks: 'The sides are too far apart'

Cubs second baseman Jason Kipnis sounded off on the negotiations between MLB and the players union for a 2020 season in an interview with ESPN 1000’s “Waddle & Silvy" on Tuesday.

Kipnis expressed confidence baseball’s return is around the corner while agreeing with the notion MLB and the union are too far apart to come to an agreement.

The 33-year-old noted MLB’s season was postponed due to the coronavirus right as it was set to begin, putting baseball in a tougher position than other leagues trying to finish their seasons (NBA, NHL) or have several months before they kickoff (NFL).

“We were kinda launched right into the middle of everything and put into a tough space,” Kipnis said, “so unfortunately, it just doesn’t sound like we’re gonna come to an agreement because the sides are too far apart.

“That being said, I know [MLB commissioner Rob Manfred] has the ability to start a season regardless, whether it’s like 48-50 games or something like that. I don’t see him passing up that opportunity. I think we will have baseball this year, regardless of whether we come to an agreement or not … . But it’s almost like it’s out of our hands at this point.”

Fans have grown impatient as negotiations between the two sides — millionaires vs. billionaires — have gone public during a global pandemic that has left millions unemployed. The players remain firm in their desire for full prorated salaries this season, but their latest proposal delivered Tuesday (89-game schedule, full prorated salaries) is expected to be rejected by the owners.

RELATED: MLBPA submits latest proposal for 2020, league expected to reject

Kipnis explained the players’ stance and how they're trying to leave the game in a good place for future generations.

“All of us would love to play; every player’s ready to play this year, but we have a duty now as a union and as a player to leave the game in a better shape," he said. "And if we take concessions now, if you give them an inch, they’re gonna take a mile with these owners sometimes. 

“That being said, the owners are definitely business guys, so they have their stance on things, too, and you’re kidding yourself if you don’t think obviously the money makes the world go around in this situation.”

Kipnis said the union can’t rule out not playing but it’s something they don't want to do. However, he said they realize the owners want to portray them as the bad guys as the season continues to be postponed.

“It’s turning into a he said-he said kind of argument where it feels like they almost make a proposal just so they can be the last ones to say, ‘Oh, we’re trying. We made the last proposal and if the game doesn’t start back up it’s on the players because we offered the last one,’” he said. “It’s just not the way it works. 

“This shouldn’t be a public matter at all; that was their intention, of trying to get the public on their side to make it look like the players are the ones holding it up. The players have been waiting to play this whole time.

"As someone who has played for a long time, loves the game and is considered old in this game at 33 years old — you don't know how many years you’ve got left — I’d love to get between those white lines and play this game right now. But I also understand the bigger picture, that I’m part of a greater cause in this union and have to stand for what we believe in."

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Yadier Molina, Paul DeJong among Cardinals to test positive for COVID-19


Yadier Molina, Paul DeJong among Cardinals to test positive for COVID-19

Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina and shortstop Paul DeJong are of the seven St. Louis players and six staff members who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last week.

Six of those players gave St. Louis permission to disclose their names. In addition to Molina and DeJong, the club announced Tuesday pitchers Junior Fernández and Kodi Whitley, first baseman Rangel Ravelo and shortstop Edmundo Sosa tested positive.

The Cardinals released statements from Molina and DeJong:

"I am saddened to have tested positive for COVID-19, even after adhering to safety guidelines that were put in place," Molina said. "I will do everything within my power to return as soon as possible for Cardinals fans, the city of St. Louis and my teammates. As I recover, I request that you please respect my privacy and family in my absence from the team."

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"I am disappointed to share that I have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, even though I followed team protocols," DeJong said. "I will approach my healing as I do all other things in my life — with education, commitment, and persistence. I look forward to re-joining the team soon and ask that you respect my privacy at this time."

The Cardinals' reportedly have no new positive tests on Tuesday. The tentative plan is for them to resume play against the Cubs this weekend.


Report: No new COVID-19 cases for St. Louis Cardinals, door open to play Cubs

Report: No new COVID-19 cases for St. Louis Cardinals, door open to play Cubs

Jon Heyman reports that the St. Louis Cardinals had no new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday.

This comes after 13 members of their traveling party had tested positive through Monday, which put the future of their schedule in jeopardy, including their first series with the Cubs.

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The Cardinals haven’t played since July 29, postponing seven games along the way. The earliest they would be allowed to play is Friday to start their series against the Cubs.

The Cardinals are the second team to face a major outbreak since the outset of MLB’s regular season. The Miami Marlins had 20 people test positive starting on July 24, forcing them to postpone 10 games. In addition, the Phillies had two clubhouse workers test positive for COVID-19 after hosting the Marlins.

There have been no reports of any Cubs or White Sox players testing positive for COVID-19 since the regular season began.

RELATED: Report: St. Louis Cardinals went to casino before COVID-19 outbreak