Major League Baseball's owners are reportedly set to propose a short season that could last as few as 50 regular season games. While the players offered to play 114 games starting in July, the owners have countered with less than half of that. But, thanks to the details, it seems the owners' proposal is a step in the right direction.
MLB's 50-game proposal offers players prorated salaries, which means their per-game checks wouldn't change. That's a concession the players have been wanting for weeks. While the number of games won't satisfy the players, this is a good shift in negotiations. MLB and the owners have finally conceded to offering the prorated salaries they agreed to pay in March.
I don't think 50 games will be enough for the players, but it's a good starting point for negotiations. Maybe the two sides can settle somewhere in between, around the 70 or 80-game mark with prorated salaries. Or, maybe for that number of games, the players would agree to take 90 percent of their salaries, etc. If the two sides can bridge that gap, the league would likely avoid a disaster of epic proportions.
The two sides are clearly entrenched when it comes to money. The players want to receive more and the owners want to spend less. But this is the first time the two sides have moved nearer to each other in long while. Now it's time for some hardcore negotiation to figure out a way to play the 2020 season. Commissioner Rob Manfred needs to do whatever he can to make this work.
Baseball needs to come back, but for that to happen both sides need to give a little and accept they won't do as well financially as they are hoping.