We made it to June and somehow the world is still spinning. Today was the soft deadline for the MLB Players Association and the owners to get a deal done on the 2020 season, but alas, they have yet to come to an agreement. There has been some news on the negotiation front, though, so let's take a look at what's going on.
MLBPA submits plan for 114-game season
According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, the players union submitted a plan to owners yesterday that, among other items, includes a 114-game season. The proposal also includes deferred salaries if the 2020 postseason is canceled and an opt-out for players with coronavirus health concerns.
Players who are seen as "high-risk" and choose to opt out will receive salary for the season, while players who are not high-risk will only receive service time.
Passan says the union expects the owners to reject the proposal, but they see it as "a bridge to a potential deal this week."
Some owners are willing to cancel the season
As usual, though, whenever we get some good news, there's bad news waiting somewhere else. According to Passan's colleague at ESPN, Buster Olney, some owners are willing to cancel the 2020 season.
Here's an excerpt from Olney's column for ESPN yesterday:
"Sources say there is a group of owners perfectly willing to shut down the season, to slash payroll costs and reduce losses, and the disparate views among the 30 teams have been reflected in the decisions to fire and furlough. The Pirates' Bob Nutting used the shutdown as an avenue to suspend team contributions to employee 401K plans -- savings best measured monthly in the tens of thousands of dollars rather than the millions that would actually be difference-making for a franchise probably worth at least $1 billion. The Oakland Athletics' John Fisher decided to eliminate the $400 weekly salaries of minor leaguers, which might save the franchise about the amount of the team's unpaid stadium rental bill. On the other hand, clubs such as the Tigers, Padres and Royals demonstrated greater humanity, with the Royals' John Sherman deciding to pay his minor leaguers."
According to CBS Sports, the agreement, that the two sides reached in March gives Commissioner Rob Manfred the unilateral ability to cancel the 2020 season.
If the two sides want baseball in 2020, they better come to an agreement soon.
Baseball player speak out against racism
Amidst the protest and unrest caused by the police killing of George Floyd last week, multiple MLB players are taking to social media to voice their support of protesters and their anger towards systematic racism.
Players such as Giancarlo Stanton, Jack Flaherty, Andrelton Simmons, Michael Young and more have taken to Twitter to speak out. Even former Atlanta Braves outfielder Dale Murphy spoke up in multiple posts on his Twitter account.
This is notable for a sport such as baseball, where players usually don't speak out on social issues.