Union memo to MLB players says no agreement was reached, details 60-game league plan

Tim Brown
MLB columnist

A Major League Baseball Players Association letter distributed to players after union head Tony Clark and commissioner Rob Manfred met Tuesday night cited “a number of significant issues with what [Manfred] proposed” and stated “there certainly were no tentative agreements reached,” according to a copy of that memo obtained by Yahoo Sports.

In the face of optimism after a midday statement from Manfred said the sides had negotiated the framework of a deal in Arizona that could lead to agreement and therefore the start of the 2020 season, the union letter suggested the sides have significant ground left to cover. The primary issue was Manfred’s proposal for 60 games with 100-percent prorated salaries. The union has consistently proposed more games — as many as 114 — at the same rate.

Union chief Tony Clark met with commissioner Rob Manfred this week, but the framework the two worked out still has significant issues for the players according to an MLBPA memo. (Photo by Alejandra Villa Loarca/Newsday RM via Getty Images)

Manfred left the meeting believing Clark and he had agreed on most issues, including the number of games to be played. Further tightening of the full agreement remained, and required both men to present the details to their respective parties. Major League Baseball did not, however, expect another official proposal from the players association. One likely is coming, starting with an increase in the number of games.

The union letter included other details in its summary of the meeting:

  • Spring training would begin no later than June 28 for position players.

  • The season would consist of 60 games, beginning July 19 or 20 and ending Sept. 27.

  • Expanded postseason in 2020 and 2021, with a minimum players’ pool of $25 million.

  • 100 percent prorated salaries (60 games would amount to about 37 percent of a 162-game season and salary)

  • Designated hitter in both leagues in 2020 and 2021.

  • Opt-out rights for high-risk individuals, as defined by the CDC.

  • MLB would direct $10 million for social justice initiatives.

  • ‘Minimum’ player commitments for broadcast elements, including the miking of players.

  • Corporate advertising on uniforms in 2020 and 2021.

  • Enhanced housing allowances for spring training and regular season.

  • Mutual waiver of potential grievances under the March Agreement.

Here’s a timeline of how the talks have reached this point.

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