The emotional roller coaster that MLB fans have ridden over the last hour rivals any amount of pulse-pounding excitement you'd get at an amusement park. Just when it looked like Jon Heyman confirmed that the MLB was going to return, several other reporters claimed that the newest proposal on the table was by no means seconds from being put into practice. Then, Rob Manfred sent out a statement telling everyone to get ready! What is happening?!
Even after all of that, MLB fans still have a lot to be grateful for, as today showed that a return to baseball is closer than it has been in recent weeks and months due to these three important factors.
3. The Rob Manfred-Tony Clark Meeting
The fact that Manfred, who has essentially been functioning as a mouthpiece for the 30 MLB owners, and Clark, who has been as stubborn as a mule in negotiations, finally met face-to-face and agreed on the framework of a deal that could finally get the season started in a timely manner shows that there is hope that the two warring factions can eventually come together. With a Manfred statement suggesting that MLB teams should "move forward" with plans for a 2020 season, the return of baseball just became that much more real.
2. Agreement on Prorated Pay
Fully prorated salaries have been a major sticking point that the players have tried to hammer home in negotiations. Eventually, after months of drilling, the owners conceded to fully prorated deals, but they wanted to play just 50 games. Now that the minimum number of games has increased to 60, there is hope that those who want a fully prorated salary and a meaty slate of games can finally see both desires fulfilled.
1. New 60-Game Proposal With a 16-Team Playoff Format
The latest proposal that made its way to the table features 60 games starting on July 19, fully prorated salaries, and expanded playoffs that will go into effect during the 2020 and 2021 seasons. This proposal is far from perfect, as the idea that the MLBPA should accept a deal that waives the right of players to file a grievance is might be viewed as a non-starter, but the owners have made some large concessions in this deal, and the MLBPA should view some parts of this deal as major victories.