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MLB players end negotiations

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has the power to unilaterally set a schedule per a March agreement between the players and owners.

Posted: Jun 14, 2020 10:36 PM

The Major League Baseball Players Association has rejected MLB's latest proposal and will not counter.

In a letter to the league on Saturday, the Union asked Major League Baseball to inform it of how many games it intends to play and when players should report.

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.

The league has suggested it could impose a schedule of somewhere between 48 and 55 games.

Should MLB implement a schedule, the Union is expected to file a grievance that the league did not fulfill its obligation to use its "best efforts to play as many games as possible."

MLB has said it will lose billions of dollars this season and even more if it plays without fans in the stands, leading to its proposals that players take a cut off the prorated portion of their salaries.

The Union has sought financial information to validate the league's projections and said the documentation provided by the league has not sufficiently backed up the numbers.

Full statement from MLB Executive Director Tony Clark:

"Players want to play. It's who we are and what we do.

"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."

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