While it appears Major League Baseball and its players are still far apart on an agreement for the 2020 season, Commissioner Rob Manfred is confident a season will be played. “I can tell you unequivocally we are going to play Major League Baseball this year,” he said during an interview with ESPN.
Manfred was speaking before Wednesday’s MLB Draft broadcast, which came a day after the MLB Players Association proposed an 89-game regular season with 100% of prorated salaries. Earlier in the week, MLB had offered a 76-game regular season with 50% of prorated salaries and up to 25% additional based on the postseason. There hasn’t been a season with fewer than 80 games since 1879.
Following the players’ proposal, Manfred said a plan of 100% of prorated salary and 89 games is unrealistic as the negotiations have extended beyond a deadline for a potential July 4 start date. Part of MLB’s argument is to get a season and a postseason in before a possible second wave of coronavirus. Both MLB and the MLBPA have agreed to expand the postseason, which could help boost revenue – which, even without expansion, generates $787 million annually in broadcast revenue.