Whether the players like it or not, it looks like there’s going to be a baseball season this summer. Well, something resembling a baseball season.
On Monday night, the long, ugly back-and-forth labour battle between Major League Baseball and the Players’ Association appeared to be on the verge of ending. Despite push-back from the players (and no deal signed by the PA), MLB is going forward with plans for a 60-game season.
The goal for MLB is to have players report for “spring” training on July 1 and to have a season started by late-July.
Source: Owners plan to implement 60-game season once union responds to two questions posed in statement. https://t.co/6Erj1jLpfK
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 23, 2020
The PA didn’t vote in favour of MLB’s last offer, which featured a season that they deemed to be too short and pro-rated salaries. The big sticking point for the players, though, was voting in favour of that deal would have also resulted in them waiving their ability to file a grievance.
It seems inevitable the PA will file a grievance against the league for negotiating in bad faith throughout this process. Their stance would suggest that owners stalled on offering pro-rated salaries to reach a point in the year in which only a 60-game season was feasible in order to save money on salaries. If a ruling goes in favour of the players, they could be entitled to a massive sum of money from the league.
But, that’s something for down the road. Right now, it seems we have baseball on the way. The season, if it happens, will be short and chaotic, but it’s better than nothing. There’s also a good chance we’ll see a handful of players not report to play, so that’s something else to keep an eye on over the next few days and weeks.