Cubs News: MLBPA makes counter-proposal to MLB for 2020 season

Tony Clark / MLBPA / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
Tony Clark / MLBPA / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /

Yesterday, the MLBPA made a counter-proposal to Major League Baseball outlining terms in the next step in talks and a potential return of Cubs baseball.

For weeks, Cubs fans have had June 1 – today’s date – circled on their calendars as a soft deadline for talks between the league and player’s union to come to a head. While that hasn’t happened, at least not yet, the MLBPA put forth a new proposal to the league on Sunday.

Here’s the SparkNotes version of the proposal, which the players don’t expect the league to approve:

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  • A 114-game regular season that would end on 10/31
  • An opt-out clause for any player who chooses to sit out the 2020 season
  • Expanded postseason format for both 2020 and 2021
  • A potential deferral of 2020 salaries should this season be cancelled

At this point, MLB and the players are standing on opposite shores of the river, casually waving to one another. There’s almost no overlap between this proposal and the initial offer from the league and the owners – minus the expanded postseason. 

It’s hard to have a ton of optimism regarding a season being played this summer. That’s not to say it’s impossible, but the two sides are going to have to put their heads together and get serious in a hurry if that’s going to happen.

In the MLBPA proposal, the season would start on June 30. If you’re planning for three weeks for a second abbreviated spring training, that leaves you next to no time to come to terms and allow players to make necessary preparations – both personally and professionally.

For the Cubs specifically, the option for players to opt out of the 2020 season is particularly interesting. Chicago has a pair of cancer survivors on its roster in Anthony Rizzo and Jon Lester – and no one knows which other players might not be up for playing this year.

We know that if baseball opens up shop again, the Cubs prefer to play their second spring training at Wrigley Field. Of course, that’s completely contingent on state and local authorities approving such a plan – and with the wide-ranging protests and demonstrations currently taking place across the city, another element had been added to the mix.

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For baseball fans, this is the story in the sports world right now. The 2020 season hangs in the balance – and while the latest proposal in the talks between the two sides is another step, it’s one that seems unlikely to net any consensus right now.