The Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) has responded formally to the initial proposal for a 2020 season submitted last week by MLB representatives. And the players are not happy. Not at all.
Per MLB insider Jon Heyman, a memo from the players union begins as follows:
“As MLB misinformation continues to be pushed out through the media and various club personnel, we wanted to provide some straightforward facts for player reference…”
The players union memo lists these as facts: 1) they are committed to getting an agreement but no deal or MLB proposal yet 2) no date has been set to resume spring 3) the union will provide time to arrange accommodations 4) MLB hasn’t responded to March 13 request for $ documents
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) May 21, 2020
Joel Sherman at the New York Post wrote that the MLBPA response detailed issues in regards to health concerns and also asked for financial information from the owners: “The union’s health response covered testing frequency, protocols for positive tests, in-stadium medical personnel, protections for high-risk players and family, access to pregame and postgame therapies, and sanitization protocols.”
Players also want test volume increased. Daily would be best to allow even greater comfort/fewer restrictions within clubhouse/ballpark. Question will be if MLB can get enough tests without depleting from what is publicly needed to make that happen.
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) May 21, 2020
Sherman further reported that in his conversations with players and their agents, he learned that the players are hoping to have restrictions lifted on showering at stadiums, especially before heading out on road trips. They would also like to see lifted the MLB proposed bans on use of hydrotherapy pools and other items that help with preparation and recovery.
The owners are expected to make some financial information available to the MLBPA today (Friday, May 22) as the two sides continue their negotiations. There is much road to still be covered. But clearly the two sides are trying to make this happen. Don’t be surprised to see an agreement reached within the next week to 10 days, and a public announcement on a formalized 2020 season plan.