FILE PHOTO: Fenway Park, with no games for Major League Baseball’s Boston Red Sox, is opened for an event to honor Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., May 20, 2020. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
(Reuters) – The union representing Major League Baseball players said on Saturday it had rejected MLB’s latest offer of a reduced 72-game schedule with 80% prorated salaries and had opted not to make a counter offer.
With baseball on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the two sides have been trying to find common ground on a return-to-play plan for the 2020 season but have been unable to reach agreement in areas like player compensation and the number of games.
“In recent days, owners have decried the supposed unprofitability of owning a baseball team and the commissioner has repeatedly threatened to schedule a dramatically shortened season unless players agree to hundreds of millions in further concessions,” MLB Players Association Executive Director Tony Clark said in a statement.
“Our response has been consistent that such concessions are unwarranted, would be fundamentally unfair to players, and that our sport deserves the fullest 2020 season possible.”
MLB was scheduled to open its 162-game regular season in late March but delayed the campaign due to the pandemic.
Clark said the union membership had already agreed to billions of dollars in concessions and that it had made additional revenue-generating proposals which would benefit owners, broadcast partners and players.
Those proposals had “fallen on deaf ears,” he said.
“It unfortunately appears that further dialogue with the league would be futile,” said Clark. “It’s time to get back to work. Tell us when and where.”
Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Peter Rutherford