After several days of stalemate in the negotiations between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association, we might have some traction toward a deal to resume the 2020 season. After commissioner Rob Manfred and union chief Tony Clark met face-to-face, we’re seeing the sport move back toward discussions about offers involving schedule length and the postseason — and no more barbs and accusations of bad faith.
With that in mind, we asked baseball reporters Alden Gonzalez, Buster Olney and Jesse Rogers for their thoughts on the single most important question of the day:
How much did Wednesday’s developments push us closer to having a 2020 MLB season?
Alden Gonzalez: This was a substantive offer that, perhaps for the first time, made a deal seem possible. Likely, even. The biggest reason for that: Full prorated salaries, a condition the union has been consistent on from the onset. Wasting time with anything else only delayed this further, created greater animosity and shrank the schedule. But here we are — with the parameters for a deal that both sides can realistically work from.
Buster Olney: There can be only one of two outcomes at this moment: Either the owners totally surrender, in the face of the players’ unity, or they effectively end the 2020 season and shift to total war. The fact that they’re still talking, and that Manfred flew out to meet Clark, might have been to check all the boxes MLB feels are necessary to head off a possible grievance and attempt to satisfy somebody’s definition of good faith. But they are talking, which is better than the alternative.
Jesse Rogers: The news of the day is that they reengaged in talks, but correct me if I’m wrong, 60 games at full prorated salaries isn’t that much more than the 50 that had been rumored. As long as the league commits to full pro rata no matter where it ends up, then today was the beginning of the end. If they hesitate going up the ladder in number of games, we’re back to Square 1.