Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association are still looking to come to a deal on the number of games for the 2020 season. The MLBPA is set to vote to accept or reject a proposal for a 60-game season with full prorated salaries on Monday afternoon after the vote was delayed this weekend, CBS Sports HQ's Jim Bowden confirmed.
Two developments have caused the players to hit pause on voting. The first is the coronavirus pandemic. There was a COVID-19 outbreak on Friday that caused the league to order all spring training sites closed and disinfected. The players want to gather more information about the league's coronavirus protocols, according to ESPN.
Also on Sunday, commissioner Rob Manfred sent a letter to MLBPA chief Tony Clark offering to remove expanded playoffs and a universal DH (both features of MLB's proposal) for the 2021 season if a 2020 season is not completed, per ESPN's Jeff Passan.
The proposed 2021 olive branch may be the last and best chance MLB and MLBPA have to strike a deal. Players had planned on voting today whether to accept a 60-game season or allow Manfred to impose a season of his desired length, sources tell me and @JesseRogersESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 21, 2020
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the letter from Manfred was received by the players during a Sunday union meeting. It's unclear if this was due to any pushback from the players or if they simply wanted to process the new information.
Believe it or not, those wanting to see MLB play in 2020 could take the delay as good news. The further we go, the closer we get to it only being possible to play the 60 games. We already know the owners are willing to go to 60 because that was their most recent offer. The players are being painted into a corner here, assuming they still want to play.
Meanwhile, Manfred's letter is a concession to the players who would be worried about losing leverage in CBA negotiations after the 2021 season.
To sum it up, no news of a season is perfectly acceptable on this Father's Day. No definitive steps have been taken backward and we're getting close to the point on the calendar where they simply don't have time to negotiate the number of games much longer.