NEW YORK – Baseball players moved toward teams but remained far apart economically in their latest proposal for starting the pandemic-delayed season, adamant they receive full prorated salaries while offering to cut the regular season to 89 games.
The proposal by the players’ association, given to Major League Baseball electronically Tuesday evening without a negotiating session, was detailed to The Associated Press by a pair of people familiar with the negotiations. They spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcements were authorized.
MLB did not appear to view the proposal as productive but made no comment. MLB has said that absent an agreement it could go ahead with a shorter schedule of perhaps 50 games.
Players made their move one day after management cut its proposed schedule from 82 games to 76. The union proposed the regular season start July 10 and end Oct. 11 — the day before a possible Game 7 of the NBA Finals.
The union accepted MLB's plan to expand the postseason from 10 teams to as many as 16. However, if management announces a schedule without an agreement, it would not be able to alter the established postseason format.
The players' plan would have the World Series end in mid-to-late November, and players said they would accept MLB's proposal to have the ability to shift postseason games to neutral sites.
Teams say they fear a second wave of the coronavirus and do not want to extend the World Series past October. Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem told the union a 76-game schedule could not be staged unless players agreed to a deal by Wednesday.
Players continue to insist on full prorated salaries as specified in the March 26 agreement between the perpetually feuding sides. The deal gave players service time in the event no games are played this year along with a $170 million salary advance.