After the Major League Baseball Players Association recently proposed a 114-game season plus salary deferrals, MLB fired back with a counter of its own: A short season, prorated salaries, all with a 2020 season start date in July.
The potential season Major League Baseball envisions would run somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 regular-season games, sources told ESPN. The exact number is being considered, but the aim would be to return in July. It would be less than half of players’ proposed season length.
Yeah, that's not just a short season. That's a really short season.
In March, players agreed to prorated salaries, and MLB's latest offer upholds that agreement. By trimming the season down to 50-ish games, however, the players would receive a significantly smaller portion of their salaries. Per Passan, MLB believes the original agreement reached in March allows them to "mandate a shorter season," but they are willing to continue to hear the MLBPA out and to discuss possible alternatives.
The forthcoming issue here is clear: Had the players received their preferred 114-game schedule, they would have received roughly 70 percent of their normal, full, 162-game pay. At 50 games, however, they'd see roughly 31 percent of their pay.
While the two sides obviously still have some work to do here, this marks movement and progress toward a 2020 MLB season. No hard deadlines have been set for a deal, but the prevailing notion is that both MLB and the MLBPA would prefer to have a start date around July 4 weekend.
With the latest proposal from MLB, it appears that desire could potentially be satisfied.
Again, this isn't done. But this marks a significant step in the right direction if we're going to see baseball being played in 2020.