MLB Offers a Full 162-Game Schedule, if a Deal is Done Today
After MLB and the MLBPA ended talks last week, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred declared that the first two series of the season were canceled. That's a straight cancelation, with no makeup of the first two series, leaving the schedule at 156 or 157 games, depending on the nature of a team's schedule, and leaving the players without a full season's worth of pay.
MLB appears to be coming back off of that and willing to include a full season's worth of pay. That is, if the deal can be done today.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that MLB and the MLBPA will meet several times over the course of the day on Tuesday, in an attempt to strike a deal:
Major League Baseball gave the players union a Tuesday night deadline to accept one of their options in a new proposal that would reinstate the 162-game season, with full pay, after negotiations Monday in New York that included several rounds of Zoom calls.
If no deal is reached by Tuesday night, or at least by early Wednesday afternoon, MLB officials said another week of regular-season games would be cancelled with players forfeiting pay.
That would indicate that Tuesday is a big day in the negotiations.
Then again, if MLB was willing to back off of the straight cancelation of five or six games, would they eventually back down on this?
The challenge in a delayed season, as we learned in 2020, is that the television contracts for the World Series cannot be postponed too deep. In 2020 there was a Presidential Election they hoped to finish the World Series by, but other programming issues remain for the networks who carry playoff games.
According to a number of reports, the same big issues are those standing in the way of a deal: the level to which the Competitive Balance Tax ("luxury tax") is set, minimum player salaries, and a bonus pool to pre-arbitration players.