Chances of a 2020 Phillies season took a step in the right direction on Monday.
The MLB and MLB Players Association appear to be finding common ground in their negotiations for a 2020 season, meaning Philadelphia Phillies manager Joe Girardi‘s debut in red pinstripes could occur sooner than later.
One day after the players union issued a 114-game counterproposal, the league responded that it intends to propose a shorter season while fulfilling the players’ desire to have full prorated salaries, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
On ESPN, Passan said MLB saw MLBPA’s 114-game proposal and said, “This is not going to work.”
MLB believes their agreement in late March allows it to set the schedule. “For the longest time, really since the end of March, when their agreement was put into place, players have been asking for their full pro rata salary,” Passan says. “A 50-something game season, Major League Baseball would be willing to do to get them there.”
This length likely will be difficult for the players to accept, given their proposal on Sunday exceeded 100 games. If they play only 50 games, instead of the 82 that was proposed initially in March, 50 out of 162 would be less than a third of their salary (pro rated). The shortest MLB season ever was the strike-shortened 1981 season, when teams played an average of 106 games, according to Sports Illustrated.
“The exact number is being considered, but the aim would be to return in July,” says Passan. “It would be less than half of players’ proposed season length.”
Passan cautioned that this counterproposal “does not mean that baseball is back at this point,” but rather a “step in the right direction.”
He says: “The question is, are the players going to be willing to accept and show up to play that 50-something game season. Is there going to be further discussion that really fleshes it out and gets them on the same page?”
Discussions are ongoing, but the chances of some form of Phillies baseball happening in 2020 appear to be improving by the day.