The Major League Baseball Players Association has created a proposal to play a 70-game season, ESPN’s Jeff Passan first reported Thursday. The news comes two days after a resumption of negotiations between MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and union leader Tony Clark.
In a statement, Clark confirmed the players delivered a 70-game proposal to MLB that included expanded playoffs for 2020 and 2021.
“We believe this offer represents the basis for an agreement on resumption of play,” it said.
The proposal includes a split of playoff revenues, and while it’s not expected to be accepted by owners, Passan reports that it brings optimism that a season will take place.
This comes after negotiations stalled over the weekend and Manfred followed that by expressing concern the 2020 MLB season might not happen at all.
Manfred responded by meeting Clark face-to-face in Arizona in the middle of the week, and MLB owners proposed a restart around 60 games on Wednesday. Passan reported that the players felt that season was too short.
“I think they both realize, again, the best thing to do is come together, agree upon a number of games,” Arizona Diamondbacks president and CEO Derrick Hall told Arizona Sports’ Doug & Wolf on Thursday. “But it’s so much more than that … It’s too easy for us to focus on the number of games and the amount of salary paid.
“There are so many other details that we still have to hammer out, and that was the message that the commissioner’s office and Major League Baseball gave to the players.”
Over the weekend, the MLBPA led by Clark rejected an offer by baseball team owners for a 72-game season, ending further negotiations. A letter by Clark closed by asking Manfred to tell players “when and where” to prepare for a season.
Players responded on their social media accounts, repeating the “tell us when and where” refrain. That came before Manfred reached out to Clark and set up the meeting in Phoenix.
Owners had previously feared players would file a grievance upon the start of a season if they didn’t get the full prorated salaries they demanded. Talks resumed this week between the two sides’ leaders with the expectation that players would not file any grievance about lost wages under any deal struck.
“Grievances are never good for any game or any sport,” Hall said. “You just don’t want them. You don’t want to show the struggle and you don’t want to show the conflict, and you never know anyways how a grievance could come out.”