In a Saturday letter to Major League Baseball, the MLBPA rejected the league’s latest proposal for 2020 and do not plan to counter.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan obtained a copy of the scathing letter in which the union ended further negotiations with MLB. They are calling for the league to reveal its plans for the 2020 season by end of day Monday.
From MLBPA letter: "If it is your intention to unilaterally impose a season, we again request that you inform us and our members of how many games you intend to play and when and where players should report. It is unfair to leave players and the fans hanging at this point."— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 13, 2020
From MLBPA letter: "We demand that you inform us of your plans by close of business on Monday, June 15."— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 13, 2020
This isn't to suggest Monday will be the end of this and we'll know what sort of baseball season there will be, but the players are asking for a season and asking by Monday.
The expectation now is that MLB commissioner Rob Manfred will mandate a season in the range of 48-52 games where players will receive full prorated salaries, as allowed under the two sides’ March agreement following the suspension of play due to the coronavirus. Wednesday, Manfred guaranteed a 2020 season, whether the league and union come to an agreement or not.
In a Saturday statement, MLBPA executive director Tony Clark called further dialogue “futile” and said efforts by the union to negotiate “have fallen upon deaf ears.” He highlighted the massive billion-dollar TV deal the league has reportedly agreed to with Turner Sports starting in 2022.
“In recent days, owners have decried the supposed unprofitability of owning a baseball team and the Commissioner has repeatedly threatened to schedule a dramatically shortened season unless players agree to hundreds of millions in further concessions.
“Our response has been consistent that such concessions are unwarranted, would be fundamentally unfair to players, and that our sport deserves the fullest 2020 season possible. These remain our positions today, particularly in light of new reports regarding MLB’s national television rights — information we requested from the league weeks ago but were never provided.”
Major League Baseball Players Association Executive Director Tony Clark today released the following statement: pic.twitter.com/d1p3Oj4K70— MLBPA Communications (@MLBPA_News) June 13, 2020
MLB responded with a statement several hours after Clark's, expressing disappointment that the union has "chosen not to negotiate in good faith."
"We will evaluate the Union’s refusal to adhere to the terms of the March Agreement," the statement reads, "and after consulting with ownership, determine the best course to bring baseball back to our fans."
Statement from Major League Baseball: “We are disappointed that the MLBPA has chosen not to negotiate in good faith over resumption of play … “ pic.twitter.com/oWxrLBiTj8— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) June 14, 2020
The two sides have been quarrelling over financial terms for the abbreviated season for several weeks. The union hasn’t budged from its desire to receive full prorated salaries, in accordance with the March agreement.
MLB’s latest proposal, delivered Friday, called for a 72-game season in which the players would receive 80 percent of their prorated salaries — if there is a postseason. If the postseason is suspended due to a feared second coronavirus wave, that figure would drop to 70 percent.
It was a similar offer financially to the league’s previous proposal — a 76-game season with 75 percent of prorated salaries.