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The Major League Baseball Players Association’s eight-person union executive subcommittee is reportedly expected to reject the league’s proposal for a 60-game regular season.
Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported the news Saturday, noting the group’s decision to reject the idea would potentially clear the way for commissioner Rob Manfred to unilaterally set a shorter schedule as the two sides continue to search for an agreement.
Heyman also noted Colorado Rockies infielders Daniel Murphy may be a “possible dissenter,” which would prevent the subcommittee from unanimously rejecting the 60-game proposal.
MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark released a statement Thursday explaining the union’s proposal for a 70-game season and saying, “We believe this offer represents the basis for an agreement on a resumption of play.”
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that proposal, which has since been rejected by the owners, called for full prorated salaries, a season that ran from July 19 through Sept. 30, expanded playoffs for two years, universal designated hitters and a waiver of potential grievances.
The grievance is something that could be used against the owners for not negotiating in good faith, based on the initial March agreement between the two sides.
As for the 60-game proposal from the owners that the subcommittee is expected to reject, Passan reported it called for a season to go from July 19 or 20 through Sept. 27 with full prorated salaries, a universal designated hitter, a two-year expansion of the playoff field and a waived right to a grievance.
Heyman explained some players prefer to vote no on that framework because retaining the rights for grievances and expanding playoffs for two years are worth more as negotiating maneuvers in their eyes than 60 games.
While much of the debate has been about the number of games and grievances, the COVID-19 pandemic looms over all of it.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported some owners are unsure if the league can play 60 games if the pandemic pushes the season back until late July.