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CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 26: (L-R) Kris Bryant #17 of the Chicago Cubs, Major League Baseball Hall of Famer 2016 Hank Aaron, Commissioner of Baseball Rob Manfred and David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox pose during the Hank Aaron Award ceremony prior to Game Two of the 2016 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on October 26, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Rob Manfred Rejects MLBPA’s Offer For 70-Game Season

After the MLB Players Association offered a 70-game season with full prorated salaries, MLB and commissioner Rob Manfred were quick to shoot that down. In a statement, Manfred explained this decision. “I told him 70 games was simply impossible given the calendar and the public health situation, and he went ahead and made that proposal anyway.”

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the MLBPA was seeking, among other things:

  • A 70-game season. 
  • Full prorated pay.
  • Spring training to begin June 26-28.
  • Expanded playoffs to 16 teams in 2020 and 2021 seasons.
  • Minimum pool for playoff shares in 2020 based on rounds played; $50 million if full playoff is staged.
  • A 50/50 split of incremental TV revenue for any additional postseason games in 2021.

Manfred would continue saying that there were numerous issues he and the owners had with the union’s list. “We had a list of issues. We stated positions on each of those issues. We then made trades and compromises across and within those issues,” he said. “At several points in time, I went back to the list of issues with Tony and reviewed where we were, and I did that again at the end of the meeting. We shook hands, and we both agreed we were going to – push was the word – push our sides to reach an agreement consistent with that framework.”

The MLBPA thought that their offer was more than fair, at least according to union president Tony Clark in a statement Thursday. “In my discussions with Rob in Arizona, we explored a potential pro rata framework, but I made clear repeatedly in that meeting and after it that there were a number of significant issues with what he proposed, in particular the number of games,” Clark said. “It is unequivocally false to suggest that any tentative agreement or other agreement was reached in that meeting. In fact, in conversations within the last 24 hours, Rob invited a counterproposal for more games that he would take back to the owners. We submitted that counterproposal today.”

Earlier this week, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that the league should conclude its season prior to the end of October, and Manfred commented on this. “Dr. Fauci’s out there telling us that football should [be] playing in a quarantine,” he said. “The other two sports are playing in a quarantine. Our guys want nothing to do with that. No. 2, Fauci says we shouldn’t be playing in October, and their proposal contemplates lengthening the season.” 

After the two sides met on Wednesday, it looked like they were nearing a deal, but not even 24 hours later, the two sides seem to be as far apart as they have been in recent weeks. Only time will tell if the two will come to an agreement.

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Written by Tyler Melito

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