MLB News and Notes: Players Reject Owners’ Proposal

Well, we’re almost a week into June, and there’s still no sign of a baseball season getting started. Nevertheless, let’s check out the latest from around the league.

Rejected Again

The Players Association has had their proposal for a 114-game season officially rejected by the owners. That rejection came as no surprise, with owners continuing to claim that the more games that are played this season, the more money they’ll lose unless the players agree to re-work their financial agreement.

The union wants to stick with their prorated salaries that were agreed to in March, fully opposing a proposal from the owners that reduced salaries on a sliding scale. Rather than make an official counter-offer, the owners are hoping to negotiate a deal with the players that will involve either a shortened schedule or additional salary cuts.

The silver lining is that the two sides are close to an agreement with all non-financial aspects of the 2020 season.

Plan Z

For what it’s worth, the odds of baseball being played this summer remain high. Per the agreement in March, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has the ability to begin a season of any length unilaterally.

As long as players receive a prorated salary and agree to the league’s health protocols, Manfred can start the season. However, he would likely begin a season that’s only around 50 games, which is the length the owners would prefer if the players don’t make any concessions on salary.

That would give us baseball in 2020, although it would create additional tension between the owners and the union that could lead to a work stoppage down the line. Meanwhile, if baseball is hoping to begin the regular season by July 4, which is reportedly a soft target, time is running out for something to happen one way or another.

Wrong Outlet

If and when baseball is played in 2020, Chris Archer won’t be involved. Archer underwent surgery this week to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which is becoming increasingly popular with pitchers.

He had neck and shoulder problems during spring training, and those symptoms lingered while he continued to throw during the pandemic, which led to Archer needing the surgery.

The Pirates gave up Austin Meadows and Tyler Glasnow, two budding stars, to acquire Archer from the Rays midway through the 2018 season. However, Archer has struggled since then, posting a 5.19 ERA last season.

Pittsburgh will also be without Jameson Taillon this year, as he recovers from Tommy John surgery, creating two big holes in their rotation. As for Archer, he has an $11 million club option on his contract for 2021, an option the Pirates may choose to decline given his struggles last season and the uncertainty of thoracic outlet surgery.

Big Trouble

Former MLB outfielder Carl Crawford was arrested this week and charged with assaulting his ex-girlfriend. The alleged incident took place on May 8 and involved Crawford showing up at his ex-girlfriend’s home in Houston with a gun and physically assaulting her.

Roughly a week later, a woman and a five-year-old boy drowned in Crawford’s pool. The 38-year-old last played in the majors in 2016.

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