Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer is tired of the back-and-forth between Major League Baseball owners and players as they continuously fail to reach an agreement for a 2020 season with the COVID-19 pandemic looming as a backdrop to negotiations.
Bauer suggested continuing down this path is “absolute death for this industry” and marveled at the ability for the sport to somehow make the COVID-19 situation even worse.
Trevor Bauer @BauerOutage
It’s absolute death for this industry to keep acting as it has been. Both sides. We’re driving the bus straight off a cliff. How is this good for anyone involved? Covid 19 already presented a lose lose lose situation and we’ve somehow found a way to make it worse. Incredible. 🤦🏻♂️
He also suggested the extensive negotiations and impasses have done “irreparable damage” to the sport and said the two sides would be better off in an extended fight following the 2021 season when there will be a new collective bargaining agreement that lasts for five years.
Trevor Bauer @BauerOutage
If there’s going to be a fight the time for that fight is after the ‘21 season when a new CBA is negotiated. 5 years of potential change. We’re doing irreparable damage to our industry right now over rules that last AT MOST 16 months. WTF kind of sense does that make? 🤦🏻♂️🤦🏻♂️🤦🏻♂️
Bauer’s comments come after the MLB Players Association’s executive board voted to reject the league’s latest proposal that called for a 60-game season. ESPN’s Jesse Rogers and Jeff Passan reported the board voted against it with a tally of 33-5.
Rogers previously reported commissioner Rob Manfred sent MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark an email saying if the players agreed to a season and it was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic, he would cancel the expanded playoffs and universal designated hitter for the 2021 campaign the owners were pushing for in negotiations.
The COVID-19 pandemic impacting the season if the two sides ever do reach an agreement is a legitimate possibility, as Rogers noted every training camp in the league was shut down following positive tests around baseball on Friday.
One MLB official told ESPN’s T.J. Quinn the pandemic is a “much bigger threat” to baseball’s return than the stalled labor negotiations.
Bauer’s frustration comes with all of these factors in play, and Manfred may now unilaterally implement a shortened season using his ability to do so based on the initial March agreement.
ESPN’s Buster Olney suggested that could trigger a number of dominoes:
Buster Olney @Buster_ESPN
And the dominoes are now likely set to tumble:
1. Implementation of a short season by MLB
2. Some players choosing not to play.
3. PA grievance
4. Upcoming free agents get destroyed in market
5. All major labor issues merely deferred to next spring.
Mutually assured destruction.
However, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported Manfred does not plan on doing so Monday or Tuesday.