Major League Baseball owners have been pushing to get the 2020 regular season started in early July, and they have reached the most significant part of negotiations with the MLB Players Association. Health and safety protocols are the most important aspect of any decision during the Covid-19 pandemic, but the economics are the most difficult part of the negotiation.
MLB owners are set to offer an economic proposal to the players on Tuesday, and it is unclear how long negotiations will take. The Athletic reported there is an informal deadline of June 1 for negotiations to be completed if the season is to start by early July. There have been talks between commissioner Rob Manfred and union executive director Tony Clark, but Tuesday, May 26th is when formal negotiating will begin. That gives both sides one week if they want to get started by early July.
The owners have reportedly wanted a revenue sharing option to further cut into salaries players already agreed to pro-rate. The union submitted information requests surrounding financial documents for owners to prove their claims of losses, and only recently received responses. The Athletic is reporting the owners did not reply in full, and that creates an additional hurdle to getting a deal done.
The union and owners had a relatively solid relationship for some time before things started to sour in recent years. We’ll find out over the next week just where that relationship stands and if baseball can start when owners want it to start.