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Labor Relations Newsbeat

Friday, June 26, 2020

Are MLB players really headed for another strike?

In addition to the drama between MLB and the union, both sides are dealing with complicated internal dynamics. Manfred has a tough task in holding together his coalition and softening tensions between big- and small-market teams, particularly on the issue of revenue sharing.

“It’s a three-way negotiation,” explains one club lawyer of CBA talks. “The players and the owners and the owners and the owners.”

Agents and club officials speak of the commissioner in remarkably consistent terms: A smart attorney, shrewd negotiator and more capable business mind than his predecessor, Bud Selig—but less of a consensus-builder than Selig.

Owners and executives also agree that while Manfred protects their interests very well, he does not “love” the game in the way that Selig did. That’s a tough accusation—who can say what’s in another person’s heart, when they may express feelings in their own way?—but it’s one that is repeated often based on time spent in Manfred’s company.

As one senior club official puts it, “I like Rob; he’s just a technocrat.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 26, 2020 at 11:59 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: labor relations

Monday, June 22, 2020

MLB plans to implement up to 60-game season

2020 season quick facts:

Number of games: 60 games

Opening Day: Around July 24.

Spring Training: July 1—MLB asked the MLBPA on Monday whether players will be able to report to training in their respective cities within seven days, by July 1.

Number of teams in playoffs: 10

Salary structure: Full pro rata, which for 60 games means that players will earn around 37% of their full-season salary as long as the truncated schedule is completed…

What about other big on-the-field changes?

MLB and the union previously agreed to adopt the minor league rule for extra innings, beginning every half-inning after the ninth with a runner on second base, according to a report from USA Today. The rule is set for only the regular season and—for now, at least—for only 2020. The designated runner would be the person who made the final out in the prior half-inning. The pitcher would not be charged with an earned run if that runner crosses home plate; it would be scored as if that runner reached via error, according to USA Today.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 22, 2020 at 11:35 PM | 79 comment(s)
  Beats: labor relations

Thursday, June 18, 2020

MLB players make a 70-game offer and the owners aren’t happy about it

Major League Baseball and the owners are expected to swiftly reject the union’s proposal of a 70-game season with full prorated pay, according to two people with direct knowledge of the talks.

They spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the negotiations.

MLB will likely submit another counter-proposal to bridge the approximately $300 million gap between the two sides’ last offers.

“This needs to be over,’’ commissioner Rob Manfred said. “Until I speak with the owners, I can’t give you a firm deadline.’’

Manfred said Wednesday that he reached the framework of a deal with union chief Tony Clark on a 60-game season, providing the players with full prorated pay.

However, the players rejected MLB’s offer on Thursday and came back with a counter-proposal for 70 games with $50 million in postseason revenue, along with allowing players to keep $33 million of the $170 million in upfront money paid before May 24.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 18, 2020 at 05:48 PM | 117 comment(s)
  Beats: labor relations

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

MLB sends 60-game offer to players as leaders meet

Major League Baseball has sent a proposal for a 60-game season at full prorated pay to the MLB Players Association, sources told ESPN’s Buster Olney on Wednesday.

No deal is done, but with MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and MLBPA executive director Tony Clark having met recently, the latest offer is seen as significant progress considering where the parties were a few days ago.

Under the proposal, the season would begin July 19, sources told Olney, with the 60-game slate containing 10 off-days. Sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan that the offer includes an expanded playoff format.

Manfred confirmed in a statement that he and Clark met Tuesday, saying the session produced the framework of a deal.

“At my request, Tony Clark and I met for several hours yesterday in Phoenix,” Manfred said Wednesday. “We left that meeting with a jointly developed framework that we agreed could form the basis of an agreement and subject to conversations with our respective constituents. I summarized that framework numerous times in the meeting and sent Tony a written summary today.

“Consistent with our conversations yesterday, I am encouraging the Clubs to move forward and I trust Tony is doing the same.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 17, 2020 at 04:07 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: labor relations

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Report: More than 8 MLB owners don’t want a season in 2020

“There are definitely more than eight owners who don’t want to play,” a player agent said, according to Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic.

It’s been reported that Manfred has the authority to implement a shortened schedule with the expected length running between 50-60 games (a theoretical 48-game schedule is not being considered). However, after the players rejected the most recent proposal from the league, Manfred is apparently reluctant to impose his schedule because it may result in a grievance from the union.

Manfred needs support from 75% of owners (23) to unilaterally implement the schedule.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 16, 2020 at 01:56 PM | 86 comment(s)
  Beats: labor relations

Monday, June 15, 2020

Will there be baseball this year or not? Jeff Passan breaks down MLB’s ugly labor fight

First: Some owners are incensed at the hard-line stance the players have taken regarding salaries, according to sources. Never mind that owners have taken every bit as hard-line positions and that their incremental bargaining did as much to calcify the union’s position as anything the players themselves did. Owners are mad, and Manfred works for them, so if their support for a season wanes, that adds a not-insignificant layer of potential peril.

Second: If the league abides by the March agreement, setting a schedule isn’t as easy as just presenting one to players. The agreement calls for the parties to meet in good faith to discuss a number of issues—including “the economic feasibility of playing games in the absence of spectators,” a key issue for owners who say playing games will add to losses already in the billions. The union has requested information from the league to support such claims, and in his letter Saturday, Meyer wrote: “(T)he league has continued to obstruct the Association’s efforts to obtain even a modicum of financial transparency.”

In other words: The sides need to talk before MLB sets a schedule. And while they’ve done a lot of things, talk isn’t one of them. These have not been discussions. A discussion necessitates conversation, and the leaders rarely converse. This was not a negotiation, either. A negotiation needs back-and-forth responses, and the players’ and league’s proposals have acted like the other party does not exist.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 15, 2020 at 11:09 AM | 67 comment(s)
  Beats: labor relations

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Players propose 89-game season, rejection expected

In the latest back-and-forth between Major League Baseball owners and players over a potential 2020 season, the players union on Tuesday submitted a proposal to owners outlining what would be an 89-game season, multiple media outlets reported.

According to the reports, the MLB Players Association plan calls for fully prorated salaries and includes two years of expanded playoffs. However, multiple reports also indicated the plan is expected to be rejected by owners.

MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported that one ownership source’s reaction to the proposal was, “We’re nowhere.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 10, 2020 at 12:15 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: labor relations

Monday, June 08, 2020

MLB owners propose 76-game 2020 season, but still want players to take another pay cut, per report

Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association (MLBPA) continued negotiations concerning the potential to play a modified 2020 season on Monday. The league delivered a proposal to the MLBPA outlining another option for the season, according to ESPN’s Karl Ravech. Per Ravech, the league’s proposal calls for a 76-game regular season that would end on Sept. 27 with a postseason finishing up by the end of October. Also included in the league’s proposal: 75 percent prorated salaries, playoff pool money and no MLB draft pick compensation for signing players.

The league previously rejected the MLBPA’s recent proposal that would have featured a 114-game season and an expanded postseason. At the time, the league was not expected to make a counteroffer. Discussions have been contentious, and the two sides are struggling to come to terms over player compensation.

As our own Mike Axisa points out, the league’s offers, including this latest one, have all come out to roughly the same percentage for player salary.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 08, 2020 at 12:39 PM | 57 comment(s)
  Beats: labor relations




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