Heyman: 'No Evidence of Progress' Between MLB, Players on Plan to Resume Season

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 31, 2020

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred answers questions at a press conference during MLB baseball owners meetings, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
John Raoux/Associated Press

Major League Baseball and its players association reportedly remain far apart as they try to come to an agreement to restart the 2020 season.

According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, there is "no evidence of progress" between the two sides, making it unlikely they reach a deal before Monday's "soft" deadline. 

Heyman predicted they would need to secure an agreement by June 5-9 in order for the regular season to begin on July 4 weekend.

MLB owners had previously approved a proposal for an 82-game season beginning in early July, but players haven't agreed to salary concessions in the proposed deal.

There is also disagreement about the length of the season, as Heyman detailed:

Jon Heyman @JonHeyman

MLB seems adamant about ending regular season by about Oct 1: 1) the postseason is vital and there’s concern about 2nd wave 2) MLB TV contracts are for October 3) there may be more NFL/NBA competition by Nov. 1. So players’ preference for 100-120 games over proposed 82 won’t fly.

Players had already agreed to prorated salaries for a shortened season in March, but owners are now asking for further reductions, especially with the highest-paid players:

Jeff Passan @JeffPassan

Potential salary cuts in MLB plan, sources tell @JesseRogersESPN and me: Full-year Proposal $563.5K $262K $1M $434K $2M $736K $5M $1.64M $10M $2.95M $15M $4.05M $20M $5.15M $25M $6.05M $30M $6.95M $35M $7.84M

Agent Scott Boras has advised players, including his 71 clients, to refuse the salary reductions and hold out for a better deal, per an email obtained by Ronald Blum of the Associated Press.

Owners are attempting to overcome losses that would occur if no fans are in attendance during games. According to Mike Axisa of CBS Sports, the proposed salary changes would create about $1.5 billion in total salary costs compared to $4.25 of a full 162-game season.

The 2020 regular season was scheduled to begin in March but play was suspended during spring training because of the coronavirus.