MLB and the MLBPA negotiated 2020 salaries, or so we thought

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MLB will reportedly get their wish for a shrunken MiLB

Minor League Baseball, for over a year now, has been fighting Major League Baseball about shutting down or disaffiliating over one-quarter of its teams. It appears that fight is at an end, and if you were rooting for MiLB, you’re going to be disappointed.

Baseball America reported on Tuesday that, when talks resume on Wednesday between the two sides currently negotiating the Professional Baseball Agreement that governs their relationship, that MiLB will give in to MLB’s demands that they shrink to 120 affiliated clubs. It always felt like it was bound to happen, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, but that sealed the fate of 40-plus clubs. Federal, state, and local governments were going to be the greatest ally of these potentially disaffiliated minor-league teams, and with all of their attention now focused on handling a pandemic, MLB has MiLB right where it wants them: in a corner, alone.

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Apparently, sports will save the economy

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Independent contractor athletes, and COVID-19

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MLB can leak all the return plans they want, but they won’t work

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On Tuesday, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported on the discussions Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association have been having about starting the currently postponed 2020 season. Nothing within is promising, even if it’s, as Passan put it, the “likeliest to work, and has been embraced by MLB and MLB Players Association leadership, who are buoyed by the possibility of baseball’s return and the backing of federal officials.”

“Likeliest to work” could mean anything, mathematically, and as evidenced by MLB themselves even admitting they don’t have a plan within a plan here to restart baseball amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s good to remember that “likeliest” probably means MLB could state that this improved plan has a non-zero chance of working, unlike some of their other plans, which are at zero percent.

Here’s the quick rundown, again via Passan:

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MLB, MLBPA both benefit from COVID-19 agreement, but MiLB will suffer

Difficult decisions were necessary for Major League Baseball and the Players Association to hammer out a deal while working with so many unknowns in what is now, officially, a postponed regular season. If Jeff Passan’s reporting on the situation is any indication, then both parties made sacrifices, but came away with key measures that will help them weather a shortened, or even potentially fully canceled, 2020 regular season.

However, the parties not at the table are the ones that fared the worst: Minor League Baseball now looks like they’re in a position for MLB to force the disaffiliation of dozens of clubs on to them by way of coronavirus fallout, while current and potential MiLB players would then face a lack of both jobs and even opportunities to be signed.

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COVID-19 sheds light on inequality, in sports and beyond

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Paying MLB’s stadium workers during COVID-19 suspension isn’t ‘complicated’

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MLB is forcing MiLB players to leave spring training, without pay or hope

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Spring training is officially over, and the Major League Baseball Players Association sent out a memo to its members telling them they could stay at the spring training facility, go home, or head to the city that their team plays in. The allowances teams give to players during spring training, like for housing, are still in effect. The on-field facilities players use to prep for the regular season will remain open to those who stay, as well, and teams will assist in flying out the families of any players who had their families with them in Arizona or Florida, to boot.

According to minor-league players spoken to under the condition of anonymity, MLB’s response was much more terse and disconcerting: go home. It was left up to each individual team to craft their own message to their minor-league players that said as much, but that was what had to be relayed from above. Go home, whether you’re a domestic or international player. Go home, because you, as minor-league players, don’t have the protections and rights to negotiating an exit as unionized players.

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The MLBPA filed another grievance against the Pirates

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