The Major League Baseball Players Association has rejected MLB’s latest proposal and will not counter.
In the absence of a negotiated agreement, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has the power to unilaterally set a schedule per a March agreement between the players and owners.
In a letter to the league on Saturday, the union asked MLB to inform it of how many games it intends to play and when players should report.
“Players want to play. It’s who we are and what we do,” MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said in a statement. “Since March, the Association has made it clear that our No.1 focus is playing the fullest season possible, as soon as possible, as safely as possible. Players agreed to billions in monetary concessions as a means to that end, and in the face of repeated media leaks and misdirection we made additional proposals to inject new revenues into the industry — proposals that would benefit the owners, players, broadcast partners, and fans alike.
“It’s now become apparent that these efforts have fallen upon deaf ears. In recent days, owners have decried the supposed unprofitability of owning a baseball team and the Commissioner has repeatedly threatened to schedule a dramatically shortened season unless players agree to hundreds of millions in further concessions. Our response has been consistent that such concessions are unwarranted, would be fundamentally unfair to players, and that our sport deserves the fullest 2020 season possible. These remain our positions today, particularly in light of new reports regarding MLB’s national television rights — information we requested from the league weeks ago but were never provided.
“As a result, it unfortunately appears that further dialogue with the league would be futile. It’s time to get back to work. Tell us when and where.”
Earlier Saturday, a source confirmed to ESPN that Major League Baseball has reached a billion-dollar deal with Turner Sports, giving the broadcast company continued rights to air playoff games.