With the players declining to counter MLB’s latest offer (72 games, 70% prorated pay if postseason cancelled, 83% prorated pay if postseason is completed), they have effectively put the ball in the owners’ court to simply do the right thing and schedule a season of an appropriate, reasonable length.
No one expects that to happen, of course, because all signals we’ve received to date are that the owners do not want a season any longer than they absolutely must have (48 to 56 games is probably it). Since they have the unilateral right to mandate such a season at prorated pay, we are expecting that will now happen any day.
It could come as soon as today:
MLB owners are holding conference cal today. Will let commissioner Manfred know whether to implement short season (as allowed by March 26 agreement) or make a 2nd straight proposal. Early word: not much appetite for making another proposal
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) June 15, 2020
If you’re still holding out hope for a last second conciliatory offer … My completely unrealistic dream scenario is that the owners decide that it is (quite obviously) in the best short-and-long-term interest of the sport (and their franchise values and future revenues) to offer 70 games, fully prorated, with expanded playoffs this and next year.
How is that not a win-win? It feels like there’s more money in that version for the owners, though they bear the risk of a cancelled postseason (and they get the financial upside if the postseason gets completed). There’s obviously more money in it for the players. And there’s a MUCH better length of season for the fans.
That seems fair and appropriate to me. But, yeah, I’m not optimistic. We’ll see what comes down the pipe today.
For more background/status/anger, read Jeff Passan’s latest on where things stand and where they could go:
Will there be baseball this year?
20 Questions goes inside Major League Baseball's ugly labor battle with the players, examines how the game got to this point and offers how they can save themselves so that the fallout doesn't poison the sport for years: https://t.co/gnyJOTBdPS
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 15, 2020