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Jon Heyman reports that a deal between Major League Baseball and the players union is unlikely to be reached before June 1st

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June 1st had been a soft deadline to come to terms in order to start the season around the 4th of July weekend.

MLB: Negro Leagues Baseball Museum-Press Conference Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest story lines permeating baseball right now is the “negotiations” between Major League Baseball and the players union through the media. Both sides had set a soft deadline around June 1st, but it appears the two sides are so far apart on every issue that a deal is unlikely to happen by then.

The biggest hold up is player compensation. Players had already agreed to prorated salaries in the initial agreement between the two sides in March. With the very likely possibility of the entire 2020 season played without fans, Major League Baseball stands to reportedly lose about 40% of their revenue (~$4B) for the season. Both sides are currently dug into their position, with the owners looking for ways to further reduce player compensation for 2020 to help offset loss of revenue for empty stadiums and the players are fighting back because they don’t want to take a further cut. Both sides are entrenched in their position and it seems like neither wants to budge.

At some point, I do believe both sides have to figure out some compromise for the long term health of the sport. For that, I believe the owners will need to start negotiating in good faith with the players and the players have to be also cognizant of the fact that baseball is likely losing a lot of revenue due to the lack of fan attendance. It would be bad optics for baseball to be the only major sport in America that doesn’t resume this year after the first COVID outbreak and fans may turn to other sources of entertainment. Time will tell if the two sides can figure something out or if greed on both sides ends up winning out.