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#pounditFriday, January 22, 2021

Report: MLB threatens to cancel 2020 season unless players waive legal claims

Rob Manfred

Major League Baseball appears to have responded to the MLBPA’s ultimatum with a line in the sand of their own.

According to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, commissioner Rob Manfred informed the players’ union that there would be no 2020 season unless players waived all legal claims against the league. Essentially, the league is saying that a 2020 season will take place only if the MLBPA agrees not to file any sort of grievance.

This could pertain to several things. MLB could be concerned about grievances relating to health, wages, or the length of the season. It was reported recently that some players would be eager to file a grievance against owners, as the MLBPA does not trust the financial figures the league has used to justify asking for players to take further pay cuts.

As it stands, Manfred has the power to schedule a season with full pro-rated pay for players. Previously, a season of at least 50 games was viewed as the likeliest outcome of that mandate. Now, between this and comments Manfred made Monday, even that is in doubt.

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