Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association Tony Clark on February 19, 2020 at Clover Park in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
Alejandra Villa Loarca | Newsday RM via Getty Images
The Major League Baseball Players Association has countered a proposal by club owners to start the 2020 regular season suspended by Covid-19.
MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said players issued a 70-game proposal, up from 60 games offered by the MLB. Clark also said the union’s plan includes “a number of issues, (including) expanded playoffs for both 2020 and 2021. We believe this offer represents the basis for an agreement on resumption of play,” Clark said in a statement.
According to The Associated Press, the two sides remain more than $200 million apart on a deal that would offer $1 billion in salaries and include postseason pool pay. Club owners are offering $25 million in postseason funds, while players are seeking $50 million.
MLB commissioner Rod Manfred met privately with Clark on Tuesday to negotiate the “framework” for resuming operations on hiatus since March 12. Manfred said the meeting lasted for several hours in Phoenix, and following the dialogue, the league sent the MLBPA a 60-game plan, with would the season starting on July 19.
However, Clark released another statement Thursday afternoon to comment on the meeting which he said he “made clear” issues still remained and no agreement was reached.
Expanding the playoffs would be beneficial for MLB, especially if the added contests are included in a new collective bargaining agreement. The league stands to increase its media rights revenue for any added games after agreeing to a more than $3 billion deal with Turner Sports.
MLBPA officials rejected the league’s third proposal, which offered a 72-game season with as much as 83% prorated pay. The rejection came after club owners turned down players’ 89-game plan with full compensation.