Written by Chris Kubala
The MLB season continues to hang in the balance as the owners and the MLBPA try to hammer out a deal that works for both sides en route to getting back on the field. There has been a series of offers exchanged between the sides, bouncing anywhere from 50 to 76 games on the owners’ side to between 89 and 114 games from the players. All offers have been rejected by the opposite side when proposals have been floated during this extended back and forth. On Friday morning, the owners sent over a new offer for a schedule of 70 to 72 games with a deadline of Sunday for the players to respond.
Based on the early buzz on Friday evening, there isn’t much optimism to be had when it comes to having this deal bring the two sides closer together.
According to reports, the players are intent on still leaning toward receiving their full pro-rated salaries this season, regardless of the number of games that are played. This has created a major discord between the two sides to the point where the negotiations are reaching a critical mass point. The league has been intent on cutting down the outlay of expenses by getting the players to concede a percentage of their salaries, without any luck at this stage. The feedback from players that made their thoughts known was less than encouraging.
Reds pitcher, Trevor Bauer, who has been outspoken during the entire back and forth, from talking about how the owners’ offers don’t measure up to telling Scott Boras to keep his nose out of union business, said that this offer from the owners isn’t much better than the others. He stated that it’s the “same offer in different clothing.” As it stands, he’s not the only player that has spoken up about the situation. Phillies outfielder Andrew McCutchen said much the same thing as Bauer and did a video demonstrating that fact.
It seems that the players are sticking to their guns and leaning toward getting their full pro-rated salaries this season for the number of games played. When asked about a post on Twitter stating the Sunday deadline instituted by Major League Baseball, Pirates pitcher Trevor Williams didn’t mince any words with his response, stating that the owners’ deal had “expired as soon as they (the owners) hit send.”
That’s not something to have much optimism in when you get right down to it. Should the players reject this offer and the sides continue to plunder around with no real ground gained toward a compromise, we’ll be looking at the 48 to 54 game season that has been threatened all along during these negotiations. Then no one wins- the owners, the players or the fans. With the collective bargaining agreement expiring next season, the discord and issues that have taken center stage, it could set the league up for massive issues in the offseason. With things at such a difficult point right now where it seems like actual negotiations are being cast aside in place of emails and pointless rhetoric, the league could be doing itself irreparable damage at this stage of things.