Major League Baseball has sent the players union a new proposal for restarting the 2020 season after a face-to-face meeting between commissioner Rob Manfred and union chief Tony Clark, sources confirmed to Yahoo Sports.
The proposal was delivered Wednesday after the two men met in Arizona.
Reports indicate the proposal involves a 60-game season with the fully prorated salaries players agreed upon in March, and that the season could start by July 19. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal also reported the union may counter seeking more games.
This follows weeks of clashes between the league and the union, and sends a notable signal that MLB may be reconsidering a hard line stance. The league also made the last proposal in the negotiation.
The talks hit a low point Monday when Manfred said he wasn’t 100 percent certain there’d be a 2020 season just five days after saying there would “unequivocally” be a 2020 season.
Players have taken up “Tell us when and where” as a mantra in recent days, after saying they won’t negotiate any further pay cuts beyond their prorated salaries, but will report to play when the commissioner sets a schedule. Owners, however, fear that the players union would also file a grievance that could cost upward $1 billion if the losers are found to have been negotiating in bad faith.
MLB Network’s Jon Heyman has reported that both sides are “closing in on an agreement.” However, the union says that reports of an agreement is “false.” The Athletic’s Evan Drellich notes no deal is close yet, as the union just received the proposal and hasn’t looked it over yet.
Manfred released a statement Wednesday afternoon confirming the meeting and saying he and Clark had discussed the framework of the proposal:
At my request, Tony Clark and I met for several hours yesterday in Phoenix. We left that meeting with a jointly developed framework that we agreed could form the basis of an agreement and subject to conversations with our respective constituents. I summarized that framework numerous times in the meeting and sent Tony a written summary today. Consistent with our conversations yesterday, I am encouraging the Clubs to move forward and I trust Tony is doing the same.
The potential expansion of the postseason is still up in the air, in addition to the question of whether the union would waive its right to file a grievance against the league.
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