WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 16: Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred speaks at the National Press Club July 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. The MLB All-Star game will be held tomorrow at Nationals Park.
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

MLB’s new proposal to the players for restarting the season includes a 76-game season and a playoff bonus pool.

MLB owners have sent their proposal to the players’ union in the latest attempt to restart baseball season. Karl Ravech was the first to break the news, and his ESPN colleague Jeff Passan tweeted a thread which explains everything in layman’s terms.

If accepted, players would have a 76-game season, 75% of prorated salaries for such, and a $50 million playoff money pool if the postseason is played. This is somewhere in the middle of two proposals. Last week, the owners proposed a 46-50 game season with players receiving full prorated salaries, but no playoff money. The MLBPA, meanwhile, spoke of playing upwards of 100 games.

JB’s take

I hate to say it, baseball fans, but this is the first time throughout the pandemic that I’ve doubted if there will even be a memorable season in 2020. The owners are, more or less, claiming poverty while asking players to assume serious risks to their health. And all because fans won’t be attending games this year.

On top of that, Mike Axisa of CBS Sports pointed out how the new proposal isn’t really any different from the others.

And there are even more complications. Jorge Castillo of The Los Angeles Times reported the proposal also asks players to sign an “acknowledgment of risk” before taking the field. You read that correctly, ladies and gentlemen. To protect itself against players getting sick now or during a potential second wave of the virus, MLB is asking players to literally sign a waiver.

All that being said, this is going to play out in one of two ways. This offer is about as close as both sides have come to any middle ground. Given we’re almost at mid-June now and the season would start July 10, the negotiating window is tight. No one wants to hear it, especially how the owners are fully to blame for where we are now, but the union might need to start thinking about compromise.

Otherwise, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred can unilaterally establish the condensed season. As Axisa notes above, this means no playoff money for the players. And with the current CBA expiring in 18 months? This would be a major blow to good-faith labor negotiations in the future, and all trust between both sides could be lost.

One way or another, there’s going to be baseball this year. It just isn’t going to be anything close to what we as fans, journalists, and more know it as.

And when the dust settles on the 2020 season, all everyone will do is look back on negotiations and wonder how anything could have gone differently.

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.