Report: MLB, owners focused on 48-game schedule for 2020

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MLB's discussions with owners about a shortened 2020 season are now focused on a 48-game schedule with full prorated pay for players, sources told Jeff Passan of ESPN.

Previous reports indicated the league was seeking between 50-60 games at the prorated level. The MLBPA proposed a 114-game schedule, which the league rejected, but the union is reportedly willing to play an 82-game season with fully prorated salaries.

The union "resoundingly" rejected further pay cuts for players Thursday evening.

The two sides are at a standstill in negotiations. When the league and owners rejected the idea of a 114-game schedule at full prorated salaries, they made it clear that they wouldn't present a counteroffer. The league is in a position where it can implement a shortened season unilaterally, Passan notes.

The current collective bargaining agreement is set to expire after the 2021 season.

Owners have said that playing a longer schedule without fans in attendance would cause substantial losses that they are reportedly unwilling to absorb. The players have asked owners to open their books to show specific numbers related to the expected financial shortfall, but that request has not been granted.

Part of the stalemate has been attributed to the prior agreement in March where the MLBPA agreed to prorated salaries based on how many games were played. Owners feel that the agreement was made with the assumption that paying fans would be able to attend and that there would be room for further salary cuts if the seats remained empty.

There is some doubt surrounding whether or not the entire season would be played in front of empty stands. The state of Texas has already opened its sports venues to allow 50% capacity.

Report: MLB, owners focused on 48-game schedule for 2020
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