The commissioner’s office and the Players Association are ebbing closer to an agreement that will decide items such as service time and how players will be paid while MLB is not playing games due to the coronavirus.
MLB was expected to deliver a counterproposal sometime Wednesday with the hope that will be one of the last volleys back and forth toward reaching an agreement. The sides have been in near constant communications trying to finalize details before what would have been Opening Day on Thursday. It is possible that they will extend the clock to Friday because of a growing sense they are so close and that MLB and its teams plan to acknowledge the loss of an unofficial national holiday on Thursday.
The big sticking point involves the doomsday scenario if no games are played this year. The union wants a way for players still to accrue service time even if 2020 goes dark because players’ careers are finite and not graduating to the next service group that determines items such as arbitration and free-agency eligibility is viewed as devastating to them. Conversely, MLB does not want to grant service time if no games are played and, thus, no revenue comes in.