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Following a Major League Baseball Players Association board meeting on Thursday, executive director Tony Clark announced the union would not consider MLB‘s latest proposal for further salary reductions.
In a statement responding to the league’s perceived threat for a “dramatically shortened 2020 season,” Clark said players “resoundingly rejected” MLB’s ask for more financial concessions.
Salaries have remained a point of contention between the two sides, with MLB claiming it’s at risk of losing billions while players have asked the league to open up its books and prove the reported figures.
“Players proposed more games, two years of expanded playoffs, salary deferrals in the event of a 2020 playoff cancelation and the exploration of additional jewel events and broadcast enhancements,” Clark wrote. “… Rather than engage, the league replied it will shorten the season unless players agree to further salary reductions.”
A March 26 deal granted players a full year of service time regardless of whether games were played, with the union agreeing not to sue the league for full salaries should the season be canceled. MLB further agreed to advance $170 million over two months in player salaries.
As the two sides looked to strike a second deal to resume the season, MLB owners became steadfast in their desire to radically alter the league’s economic structure with a revenue-sharing proposal.
That desire reportedly persists among owners, even after numerous MLB players spoke out against it. Washington Nationals ace and Players Association executive council member Max Scherzer argued there is no “justification” for the league’s demand.
“Players are ready to report, ready to get back on the field and they are willing to do so under unprecedented conditions that could affect the health and safety of not just themselves but their families as well,” Clark said in his statement. “The league’s demand for additional concessions was resoundingly rejected.”
There remains no timeline for both sides to complete a deal to restart the 2020 season.