Man­fred, MLB spurn play­ers’ coun­terof­fer

Com­mis­sioner calls 70-game pro­posal ‘sim­ply im­pos­si­ble’

Richmond Times-Dispatch - - MARKETPLAC­E -

FRIDAY, JUNE 19, 2020

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NEW YORK — Baseball play­ers pro­posed a 70-game reg­u­lar-sea­son sched­ule Thurs­day, a plan im­me­di­ately re­jected by baseball com­mis­sioner Rob Man­fred with the sides 10 games and about $275 mil­lion apart on plans to start the coro­n­avirus-de­layed sea­son.

As part of the union pro­posal, play­ers would wear ad­ver­tise­ment patches on their uni­forms dur­ing all games for the first time in ma­jor league his­tory.

“This need to be over,” Man­fred said. “Un­til I speak with own­ers, I can’t give you a firm dead­line.”

While the gap has nar­rowed, both sides re­main op­posed to ad­di­tional con­ces­sions and the path to­ward an agree­ment re­mains uncer­tain and dif­fi­cult.

“We de­liv­ered to Ma­jor League Baseball to­day a counter-pro­posal based on a 70-game reg­u­lar sea­son which, among a num­ber of is­sues, in­cludes ex­panded play­offs for both 2020 and 2021,” union head Tony Clark said in a state­ment. “We be­lieve this of­fer rep­re­sents the ba­sis for an agree­ment on re­sump­tion of play.”

Af­ter Man­fred met with Clark in Ari­zona, MLB said Wed­nes­day that there was a frame­work for the sea­son. That plan in­cluded a 60-game reg­u­lar-sea­son sched­ule that would have $1.48 bil­lion in salaries plus a $25 mil­lion play­ers’ post­sea­son pool, peo­ple fa­mil­iar with that pro­posal told The As­so­ci­ated Press.

“In my dis­cus­sions with Rob in Ari­zona we ex­plored a po­ten­tial pro rata frame­work, but I made clear re­peat­edly in that meet­ing and af­ter it that there were a num­ber of sig­nif­i­cant is­sues with what he pro­posed, in par­tic­u­lar the num­ber of games,” Clark said. “It is un­equiv­o­cally false to sug­gest that any ten­ta­tive agree­ment or other agree­ment was reached in that meet­ing. In fact, in con­ver­sa­tions within the last 24 hours, Rob in­vited a counter-pro­posal for more games that he would take back to the own­ers. We sub­mit­ted that coun­ter­pro­posal to­day.”

Man­fred said Clark called him Wed­nes­day night and said he was not go­ing to present the frame­work to the union’s eight-man ex­ec­u­tive sub­com­mit­tee.

“I told him 70 games was sim­ply im­pos­si­ble given the cal­en­dar and the pub­lic health sit­u­a­tion, and he went ahead and made that pro­posal any­way,” Man­fred said.

The union pro­posal would have $1.73 bil­lion in salaries, plus a $50 mil­lion post­sea­son pool, peo­ple fa­mil­iar with that plan said.

The peo­ple spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause no an­nounce­ments of the de­tails were made.

MLB’s plan would have play­ers re­ceive about 37% of salaries that orig­i­nally to­taled $4 bil­lion, and the union’s pro­posal would have them get roughly 43%.

Both MLB and the union pro­posed start­ing the sea­son on July 19, and play­ers said it should end Sept. 30, three days later than man­age­ment.

Play­ers said pitch­ers and catch­ers should re­port for the re­sump­tion of spring train­ing on June 26, fol­lowed two days later by po­si­tion play­ers.

Baseball’s post­sea­son would ex­pand from 10 teams to 16 this year, and the two wild-card games would trans­form into eight best-of-three se­ries. That would cre­ate a min­i­mum of 14 new play­off games whose broad­cast rights could be sold, and MLB would have the op­tion of 14 or 16 post­sea­son teams in 2021.

Man­fred said MLB would give the ad­di­tional play­offs games to broad­cast part­ners for free this year to make up for the short­ened reg­u­lar sea­son and MLB would sell the games for 2021. Play­ers pro­posed they split broad­cast rev­enue 50-50 from the ad­di­tional 2021 games.

They also would al­low MLB to move post­sea­son games this year to neu­tral sites if needed be­cause of the coro­n­avirus.


Both sides would ex­pand use of the des­ig­nated hit­ter to games in­volv­ing Na­tional League teams, and both sides would ex­pand the play­offs to 16 teams this year and 14 or 16 in 2021, with the fi­nal de­ci­sion at MLB’s dis­cre­tion.

The lux­ury tax would be sus­pended for 2020, which with a 70-game sched­ule projects to save the Yan­kees $9.95 mil­lion, Hous­ton $1.52 mil­lion, the Dodgers $506,000 and the Cubs $135,000. At 60 games, New York is pro­jected to save $8.5 mil­lion, the Astros $1.3 mil­lion, the Dodgers $434,000 and the Cubs $116,000.

Play­ers would al­low $50 mil­lion to be trans­ferred to the com­mis­sioner’s dis­cre­tionary fund from the in­ter­na­tional tax fund col­lected from teams that ex­ceeded their sign­ing bonus pools.

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