St. Louis Cardinals: The MLBPA makes a true concession

LAKELAND, FL - MARCH 01: A detailed view of a pair of official Rawlings Major League Baseball baseballs with the imprinted signature of Robert D. Manfred Jr., the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, sitting in the dugout prior to the Spring Training game between the New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium on March 1, 2020 in Lakeland, Florida. The Tigers defeated the Yankees 10-4. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
LAKELAND, FL - MARCH 01: A detailed view of a pair of official Rawlings Major League Baseball baseballs with the imprinted signature of Robert D. Manfred Jr., the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, sitting in the dugout prior to the Spring Training game between the New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium on March 1, 2020 in Lakeland, Florida. The Tigers defeated the Yankees 10-4. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /
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While the St. Louis Cardinals wait to play, the MLBPA has made a true step in negotiations with the MLB.

After the most recent proposal by the MLB to the MLBPA led to more backlash, the players seem to have made the first step in some true progress towards coming to an agreement with the owners for a 2020 season. One month from now, the St. Louis Cardinals could be back in action.

The MLB’s latest polished turd seemed like the best yet, but with further analysis, it isn’t all that different from any of the others. A 76-game season with 75% prorated salaries sounds good at first, but it’s no different than 100% salaries at 50 games.

Moreover, the owners would’ve required the players to take a bet that the postseason would be completed to hit that full 75% salary. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that a bet like that isn’t a smart one.

The players got back to the owners quickly though with their newest compromise.

The last official offer from the MLBPA was a full 114 games with full prorated salaries. As Passan notes, a 25 game cut off of that brings the sides way closer. However, the owners still aren’t biting.

While the owners have repeatedly offered the same deal in different wrapping paper, the players just boosted their public image by actually making a concession.

Again and again, we are hearing the same thing from both sides. The MLBPA won’t come off a full prorated salary and the owners won’t offer it.

Let’s be honest though, the two sides have around five days to get this ironed out, or Rob Manfred is going to institute the 50-game season whether the players like it or not.

Whether or not the owners make another counter, the two sides are working closer and closer to a mid-70s game season with full salaries.

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On ESPN yesterday, Jeff Passan noted that at this point, the difference in the two sides is about $125M total or $4M per team. They are closer than it may feel. Don’t get bleak about it yet, neither side wants the imposed season because of how bad it would make the CBA talks down the line.

In the last few proposals, we have seen little “treats” each side is offering to entice the other. The owners offered the players no draft pick compensation on free agency, the players offered an expanded playoff.

The one thing it is odd to see neither side going for is deferrals. If the two sides really are $4M per team away, why not just defer that small portion of salaries down the line? Deferrals could make the difference here in the end, but we will just have to wait and see.

This is a step in the right direction, even if the owners are still posturing.

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There will be baseball in 2020, we just don’t know when or for how long. Fans are rightly frustrated and with the MLS announcing their schedule for returning in 2020 on Wednesday, the MLB falls behind even more. The two sides are close, there are just some more concessions to be made. Right now, the players just asked for a whole lot less. It’s time for the owners to build their half of the bridge.

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