MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said earlier today that he's "not confident" there will be an MLB season in 2020.
The MLB and MLBPA have exchanged multiple proposals with one another over the course of the past several weeks. But while the MLBPA have made offers that include a 114-game season and an 89-game season with full prorated salaries and an expanded postseason, the MLB has countered with less than appealing offers.
MLB proposal timeline:
May 26th: 82 games with a sliding salary scale (33% of full season salary for 51% of a regular MLB season)
June 8th: 76 games at 75% prorated salary (35% of full season salary for 47% of a regular MLB season)
June 12th: 72 games at 80% prorated salary (36% of full season salary for 44% of a regular MLB season)
The MLB is essentially offering the players pennies on the dollar that don't fairly compensate them for a reduced season. Add on top of that the fact that both sides reached an agreement back in March that granted Manfred the ability to unilaterally schedule a season of any length as long as the players receive full prorated salary. Because the MLB agreed to this during the beginning of the coronavirus reaching the United States, the MLBPA refuses to budge on the salary issue with good reason. Combine that with the fact that 25 of the 30 MLB owners have a net worth of at least $1 billion, along with the fact that some owners, like Oakland A's owner John J. Fisher, have ceased paying their minor league players altogether (EDIT: This was a mistake on my part. There was an announcement two weeks ago that the A's would stop paying their minor league players the $400 per week they were receiving, but Fisher has since said he would continue the payments.), make the stalling in negotiations makes them seem extremely cheap and petty.
The MLBPA released a statement telling Manfred that if he intends to unilaterally schedule a season, inform the players how many games he plans to play, and give them a time and date for when they should report. They ended by saying they demand to be informed of their plans by June 15th, which is today.
Even if a season is played, whether it be unilaterally or through mutual agreement, teams will need about ten days to prepare their training camp sites. An abbreviated three-week spring training would follow. MLB wants the regular season to end no later than September 27th to ensure the postseason doesn't extend into November. Based on that, spring training would have to begin no later than early-to-mid July for a 50-ish game season. The clock is running out for any chances a season is played at all under these circumstances.
Add to all of this the MLB's Collective Bargaining Agreement, or CBA, expires next year. The MLB planned on cutting 42 Minor League Baseball teams before the pandemic began, and have discussed reducing Minor League Baseball exclusively to Triple-A leagues. The MLB Draft, usually lasting 40 rounds, was decreased to 5 rounds this season, and the owners have proposed that the draft be cut to 20 rounds by the start of next season. The ever-growing distance between the Rob Manfred & MLB owners and the MLBPA in their business partnership, and the future of baseball itself, lingers in uncertainty.