- ESPN MLB insider
Author of “The Arm: Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports”
The Major League Baseball Players Association has made a proposal to MLB for a season of 89 games, with a full prorated share of salary and expanded playoffs, sources familiar with the situation told ESPN on Tuesday.
It would bring the sides closer to a potential deal because it is 25 games fewer than the union’s most recent proposal of 114 games at full pro rata, sources told ESPN.
But an MLB source familiar with the negotiations told ESPN’s Karl Ravech that the proposal is a nonstarter.
“Out of concern for the players’ health, extending the regular season past Sept. 27 won’t happen,” the source told Ravech. “There is a window of playing between 60 [and] 70 regular-season games, but pay still remains an issue.”
MLB on Monday proposed a 76-game season that would cover up to 75% of players’ prorated salaries.
This newest MLBPA proposal would have the season start on July 10 and end on Oct. 11, a source told ESPN’s Jesse Rogers. It also would expand the postseason to 16 teams (eight in each league) for 2020 and 2021.
Like MLB’s proposal on Monday, this offer has the players sharing in a pool of at least $50 million if the playoffs are played without fans.
The proposal includes opt-out rights for all players. Players who are “high-risk” or reside with a “high-risk” individual are entitled to full service and salary in the event that they opt out.
Players with no high-risk concerns may opt out without service or salary. High-risk qualification is to be determined by the MLBPA in consultation with medical experts.
Players also are committing to providing broadcast enhancements for both regular-season and postseason games.
MLB’s Monday proposal to players on a return-to-play economic package offered a higher potential salary than the previous plan but less guaranteed money over a 76-game season.
Players and officials at the MLBPA quickly scoffed at the proposal, which was obtained by ESPN, continuing the gridlock that has prevented MLB from returning after the coronavirus-related delay to the beginning of its season.
If the sides are unable to agree to a deal, the league has the ability to implement a schedule of its desired length. It has focused recently on a potential 48-game season, sources told ESPN.