Report: 89-Game Season Proposal Called ‘A Waste of Time’ by MLB Ownership Member

LAKELAND, FL - MARCH 01:  A detailed view of a pair of official Rawlings Major League Baseball baseballs with the imprinted signature of  Robert D. Manfred Jr., the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, sitting in the dugout prior to the Spring Training game between the New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium on March 1, 2020 in Lakeland, Florida. The Tigers defeated the Yankees 10-4.  (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Mark Cunningham/Getty Images

An MLB ownership source isn’t high on the Major League Baseball Players Association’s latest proposal to play an 89-game season at full prorated salaries.   

According to Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic, the source called the proposal a “waste of time.”

The 2020 season would go from July 10 through Oct. 11 and feature expanded playoffs under the latest proposal, but Rosenthal and Drellich reported owners are expected to reject the proposal since it doesn’t feature any pay cuts.

The 2020 season never began due to the coronavirus pandemic, and time is now of the essence if the MLB owners and players want to play at all this season. As a result, Rosenthal and Drellich noted that both sides will likely make their “best and last” offer soon.

One of the owners’ biggest issues with all proposals so far is the number of games that would be played. While cutting it from 114 in the last proposal to 89 in the new one would save nearly $630 million in player compensation, playing that many games would likely result in the playoffs lasting into November.

The owners reportedly have concerns about a second wave of COVID-19 hitting in the fall, so their preference is to get the season completed before the calendar turns to November.

Rosenthal and Drellich noted that Major League Baseball’s preference at this point would likely be a 54-game schedule for each team plus the playoffs.

Since it is possible that no fans will be able to attend games during the 2020 season if it occurs, essentially all money generated by the league will be through television deals, which is why the owners have balked at paying full prorated salaries to this point.

Rosenthal and Drellich called a negotiated settlement the “preferred solution” and noted that it could result in a regular season that lasts between 60 and 70 games.

With the NBA and NHL already having plans in place to resume their seasons in July, the pressure is on the MLB owners and players to come to some sort of an agreement, or else Major League Baseball is in danger of not crowning a champion for the first time since the strike year of 1994.


Bleacher Report’s David Gardner interviews athletes and other sports figures for the podcast How to Survive Without Sports.