The stalemate between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association continued Thursday night, with union director Tony Clark issuing a statement after a conference call that involved the players association's executive board and other player leaders. In that statement, Clark announced that the league's "demand for additional concessions was resoundingly rejected," according to ESPN's Jeff Passan.
Here's the full statement:
Earlier this week, the MLBPA submitted a proposal to the owners that called for a 114-game season. The league rejected the proposal and announced it would not make a counteroffer. Additionally, commissioner Rob Manfred has signaled his willingness to impose a shorter season, perhaps just 50-something games, if no agreement can be reached.
Clark's statement noted that "the overwhelming consensus of the board is that 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." As such, the players do not appear inclined to take another pay cut.
This week had been identified as a crucial one if MLB and the players association intended to begin play in late June or early July, as pitchers will require a three- or four-week ramp-up period before the season -- another spring training, essentially.
The length of the season is directly tied to the players' financial compensation, and that remains the largest issue. The owners appear to be prioritizing a shorter season, with an emphasis on getting to the playoffs and having the World Series completed ahead of November when a second wave of the novel coronavirus could sweep the nation. The players' proposal, it should be remembered, included salary deferrals in case the postseason was canceled due to COVID-19.