MLB: Manfred cancels more games, threatens salary loss
NEW YORK (AP) — MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred cancels 93 more games Wednesday, appearing to cut off the chance to play a full 162-game schedule and threatening locked out players with loss of salary and service time.
As the sides narrowed many economic differences to a small margin, they became bogged down over management’s attempt to gain an international amateur draft. Talks on that narrow topic were to continue Wednesday night.
In the meantime, at 6:30 p.m. on the 98th day of the lockout, Manfred announced two additional series had been canceled through April 13. That raised the total to 184 games wiped out from the 2,430-game regular season, or 7.6%.
“Because of the logistical realities of the calendar, another two series are being removed from the schedule, meaning that opening day is postponed until April 14,” Manfred said.
Given how close the sides are on economic issues, a breakdown over an international draft was both puzzling and stunning. But following years of simmering distrust that have heated to a boil, it also was predictable.
”There’s a lot going on in the world right now where you can certainly look out of touch,” Arizona Diamondbacks president CEO Derrick Hall said during a news conference. “I’m saddened by all this, saddened by everything.”
The union’s latest counteroffer was hand delivered by chief negotiator Bruce Meyer to MLB’s office shortly before 2 p.m. after he walked three blocks through a wintry mix from union headquarters.
While the gaps shrunk on the luxury tax, pre-arbitration bonus pool and minimum salary, management continued to press for its long-held goal of an international amateur draft. Players have repeatedly rejected the proposal since it was made on July 28.
“We never offered the Int’l Draft” tweeted Mets pitcher Max Scherzer, among the eight players on the union’s executive subcommittee. “We did discuss it, but MLB told us they were NOT going to offer anything for it. At that point, we informed all players & agreed to no draft.”
The union reacted angrily to Manfred’s announcement.
“The owners’ decision to cancel additional games is completely unnecessary,” it said in a statement. “After making a set of comprehensive proposals to the league earlier this afternoon and being told substantive responses were forthcoming, players have yet to hear back.”
Manfred had set a Tuesday deadline for a deal to preserve a 162-game schedule, and staff had started planning for opening day on April 6/7, back from the original March 31. The deadline was extended it to 2 p.m. Wednesday and then to 6 p.m.
MLB cancels 93 more games, gap narrows in bargaining The Associated Press – en Español
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