MLB Finally Ready to Go? “..an abbreviated 2020 season after a bruising and inconclusive dispute between team owners and the players’ union..” By Todd Horwitz, Bubba Trading

 

MLB Finally Ready to Go?

Major League Baseball on Monday said that it would impose an abbreviated 2020 season after a bruising and inconclusive dispute between team owners and the players’ union that could signal years of labor discord ahead. But a significant hurdle still remains in the way of returning to the field: a spike of coronavirus cases in key parts of the country that has the sports world nervous about restarting play.

The announcement comes after weeks of posturing, public ultimatums and brinkmanship between the league and the Major League Baseball Players Association, who together failed to reach a negotiated settlement dictating how to handle the economics of playing games with no fans in attendance.

Instead, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred plans to exercise his right to implement a schedule of the length of his choosing—likely consisting of 60 games from late July until late September—followed by a normal postseason tournament.

Baseball’s attempt to return to the field comes just days after MLB closed down all team training facilities across Florida and Arizona to address a surge in players and staff contracting Covid-19. The Philadelphia Phillies alone confirmed eight positive tests on Friday, with dozens more still pending heading into last weekend. Four states that are part of the current surge—Florida, California, Arizona and Texas—host 10 of the league’s 30 franchises.

A March 26 deal the parties signed shortly after the cessation of spring training gave Manfred the right to determine the length of the season as long as the two sides agreed on health and safety protocols. The union said in a statement Monday that it anticipates finalizing that document soon. The league asked the MLBPA to say by 5 p.m. ET on Tuesday whether players can report to camp by July 1.

Next year should be beyond ugly as well in terms of negotiations, with a free-agent market that will be virtually non-existent with teams snubbing players, blaming their economic losses. Players eligible for salary arbitration may now be non-tendered, flooding the marketplace. Players who have club options will be turned loose, too. There will be long-term damage worth hundreds of millions of dollars caused by the impact of this stalemate. You think this was nasty, just wait until they start negotiating towards their next collective bargaining agreement, which expires Dec. 1, 2021.

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Todd “Bubba” Horwitz
BubbaTrading.com

Financial Markets and Political Commentary
 

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About the author

Todd Horwitz - Author of “Average Joe Options“. Todd began his trading career in 1980 at the CBOE. He was one of the original traders in the OEX & helped start the SPX. He is a member the CME where he trades S&P futures as well as foreign currencies & is a regular contributor to CNBC, Bloomberg, BNN, Fox & many other major news networks.