At first, it appeared that Major League Baseball and the players' union were moving toward a united front in regards to starting the 2020 season in mid-summer despite the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. That's suddenly not at all the case, as a both parties are far apart in terms of financial demands.
After reviewing the league's 67-page proposal on health and safety protocols, the MLBPA released a memo that was acquired by MLB insiders like Jon Heyman, the players blasted the owners for spreading "misinformation" to media outlets to make the union look bad. In regards to the pay structure for the upcoming season, the MLBPA says the league has yet to respond to their request for financial documents, allegedly dating all the way back to March 13.
The players' union inquired about these financial documents because the league expressed that teams would lose approximately $640,000 per game if the season were to go on without fans. So, the MLBPA wanted to look over the paperwork to see if this "no fans plan" is economically unfeasible.
And here we are. A full two full months without a response.
This impasse stems from the MLBPA's belief that both parties agreed to a 50-50 revenue split once the pandemic reached the United States and halted sports leagues across the board. However, the league cited the aforementioned loss of revenue in asking players to take additional pay cuts to ensure the season could go on without a hitch.
However, the players weren't too keen on that idea, as they're already putting themselves at risk of contracting COVID-19 by trotting back out to the diamond, a hazard owners don't have to face themselves. In regards to the health protocols proposed by the league, the players are expected to return to the negotiation table with a few changes, including more frequent coronavirus testing and access to in-stadium facilities like showers that take into account social distancing imperatives.
Reports indicate that Major League Baseball will submit their first formal economic proposal to the MLBPA in the next few days. If it's anything less than what the players union was initially promised, you can expect them to stand firm and fight back.
If you thought this situation was ugly before, you better brace yourself, because things could get highly contentious within the next week on a level we haven't yet seen.