New York (AFP) - Major League Baseball and its players union remained in a standoff Thursday after a face-to-face meeting between commissioner Rob Manfred and union executive director Tony Clark.
Manfred said the sides departed a Tuesday meeting with a "jointly developed framework that we agreed could form the basis of an agreement" while the MLB Players Association tweeted Wednesday that "reports of an agreement are false".
Major League Baseball could impose a season of about 48 games as a result of a March 26 agreement with the union for a full pro-rated salary if no new deal for a season is reached.
Players could file a grievance over the issue if that happens.
Meanwhile, the clock ticks as the league has said it wants the regular season to end by September 27 so an expanded playoffs can be completed in late October or early November in case the coronavirus pandemic worsens in colder weather later in the year.
Owners have pitched several offers at reduced salary levels while players have pushed for more games at a full pro-rated salary level.
The latest offer from owners, according to an ESPN report Thursday citing unnamed sources, was for 60 games, fewer than players want, to start July 19-20 after a three-week pre-season training period to start June 28.
Players would be paid full pro-rated salaries, $1.5 billion or about 37 percent of full-season salaries, and have another $25 million available in playoff prize money.
Playoffs would expand from 10 to 16 clubs for the next two seasons, teams in the National League would use a designated hitter to bat for pitchers as their American League rivals have now, and both sides would waive the right to grieve the deal.
MLB's return plan would have games played in empty stadiums.