After weeks of being in a stalemate with owners over compensation agreements, the MLB Players Association has issued a statement saying it will no longer proceed with negotiations. The union has asked the league to set a 2020 season schedule after the two sides have proposed and rejected a number of options.
In a statement issued by union chief Tony Clark, the topic of compensation and prorated salaries remains a vital one, claiming their efforts to “inject new revenues into the industry” through various proposals “have fallen upon deaf ears.”
“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,” Clark wrote. “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,” Clark continued, “particularly in light of new reports regarding MLB’s national television rights – information we requested from the league weeks ago but were never provided. As a result, it unfortunately appears that further dialogue with the league would be futile. It’s time to get back to work. Tell us when and where.”
This response from players comes on the heels of the MLB’s third proposal which outlined a 72-game season with players earning 80 percent of their prorated salaries. Previous proposals from owners have all featured varying pay cuts for athletes while the MLBPA has offered their own proposals for more games – and more money.
Commissioner Rob Manfred is entitled to authorize a season plan which is said to be about 50 games. While he has assured that there will be a 2020 season, Manfred said he’d prefer for players and owners to reach an agreement without any overrule.
Negotiations began in May with the league initially offering a proposal for an 82-game season with a sliding salary scale.