Rob Manfred: We’re ‘100 Percent’ Going to Have 2020 Season

Tim Kelly
June 10, 2020 - 6:20 pm
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Commissioner Rob Manfred guaranteed Wednesday that there will be a 2020 season, it's just a matter of what form it will take.

Manfred, who has been baseball's commissioner since January of 2015, told MLB Network's Tom Verducci that while the league would prefer not to unilaterally institute a 48-game season, they view that as a better option than altogether cancelling the season if an agreement is unable to be reached with the MLBPA:

It's seemingly been a daily occurrence over the past two weeks that one of the two sides will propose a new plan for the 2020 season, only for the other side to shoot it down within a few hours. Players have consistently fought for a longer season, one that includes pro-rated salaries.

There's no evidence at this point that the two sides will be able to reach a deal organically. Given that mid-June is approaching and there would still need to be a preseason, one would think that Manfred may have to make a decision at some point in the next 10 days. The two sides reached an agreement in March when the season was initially suspended, one in which the player's association accepted that if the season wasn't 162 games long, salaries would become pro-rated. In that same agreement, MLB interprets that Manfred has the power to unilaterally institute a 48-game season if the two sides can't reach an agreement.

It's unclear if players would consider ignoring Manfred's direction and holding out until they are able to reach an agreement that they feel is fair. Even if players ultimately would follow the plan of a Manfred-instituted 48-game season, these negotiations have had a disastrous effect on the relationship between the league and the MLBPA. That bodes very poorly for negotiations on the next collective bargaining agreement, which will have to be in place before the 2022 season.

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