MLB negotiations: ‘Unequivocally false to suggest any tentative agreement or other agreement was reached,’ Tony Clark says

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Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark released a statement Thursday about the state of negotiations between the league and players’ union.

Clark and commissioner Rob Manfred met in Arizona on Tuesday to negotiate a new proposal to restart the 2020 season, which was suspended indefinitely March 12 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Clark confirmed no tentative deal or any agreement has been reached. He said significant issues, including the number of games, remained. He said Manfred invited the players’ union to send a counterproposal and he sent one.

Clark wrote in his statement, “In my discussions with Rob in Arizona we explored a potential pro rata framework, but I made it clear repeatedly in the meeting and after it that there were a number of significant issues with what he proposed, in particular the number of games. It is unequivocally false to suggest any tentative agreement or other agreement was reached in that meeting. In fact, in conversations within the last 24 hours, Rob invited a counterproposal for more games that he would take back to the owners. We submitted that counterproposal today.”

The owners offered a proposal that called for a 60-game season beginning July 19-20 with an expanded postseason and players receiving full prorated salaries. It marked the first time during the lengthy negotiations that MLB has offered a proposal with full prorated salaries.

On Wednesday, Manfred released the following statement: “At my request, Tony Clark and I met for several hours yesterday in Phoenix. We left that meeting with a jointly developed framework that we agreed could form the basis of an agreement and subject to conversations with our respective constituents. I summarized that framework numerous times in the meeting and sent Tony a written summary today. Consistent with our conversations yesterday, I am encouraging the Clubs to move forward and I trust Tony is doing the same.”


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