Rob Manfred, Tony Clark Reportedly Have ‘Productive Meeting’ Amid MLB Unrest

FILE - In this Nov. 21, 2019, file photo, baseball commissioner Rob Manfred speaks to the media at the owners meeting in Arlington, Texas. The chance that there will be no Major League Baseball season increased substantially Monday, June 15, 2020, when the commissioner's office told the players' association it will not proceed with a schedule amid the coronavirus pandemic unless the union waives its right to claim management violated a March agreement between the feuding sides. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

LM Otero/Associated Press

There appears to be light at the end of the tunnel in the ongoing negotiations between Major League Baseball and the players for a 2020 campaign.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported MLB has sent a new proposal to the union and this is “seen as significant progress considering where the parties were 48 hours ago” even though a deal isn’t done yet. 

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal provided details of the owners’ offer to the players:   

Ken Rosenthal @Ken_Rosenthal

Source: MLB proposal includes:

•60 games in 70 days
•Season starting July 19th/20th
•Full Prorated Salary
•Expanded Playoffs in 2020 and 2021
•Waiving of any potential grievance

Per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, the owners and players are close to a deal for the season that will include prorated play and an expanded postseason. 

This comes after Heyman previously reported commissioner Rob Manfred and Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark had a “productive meeting” in person recently at Manfred’s request.

Greg Johns @GregJohnsMLB

Statement from MLB commissioner Rob Manfred: https://t.co/e6D3bQlcOb

However, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reported that players felt 60 games wasn’t enough of an increase from the potential league-imposed 50-game schedule, especially because the league offered 72 games last week.  

The league and players union have been engaging in a public back and forth over the past few weeks as they continue to negotiate a deal that would pave the way for games to be played this season. 

Clark released a statement on Saturday announcing the MLBPA wouldn’t be countering the league’s latest offer and was giving Manfred the authority to implement a schedule with however many games he wanted: “It’s time to get back to work. Tell us when and where.”

Manfred responded on Monday by telling ESPN’s Mike Greenberg he’s “not confident” there will be a season in 2020: “I think there’s real risk, and as long as there’s no dialogue, that real risk is going to continue.”

That comment came less than one week after Manfred told ESPN’s Karl Ravech he was “100 percent” there would be an MLB season. 

The main thrust of the dispute between MLB and the MLBPA has been prorated pay based on an agreement the two sides made in March, when it was unclear how long the season would be delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The union maintains that deal included language guaranteeing players full prorated salaries depending on the number of games played. The league’s proposals have included players receiving a percentage of prorated salary.

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