BOSTON (CBS) — Baseball continues to sit in the batter’s box with the bat on its shoulder as negotiations between Major League Baseball and the MLBPA continue. But it appears as though there may be some progress toward a new shortened season.

After the league proposed massive pay cuts on a sliding scale for players last week, which was a non-starter for those who play the game, baseball’s owners seem to be coming off that demand. According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, owners are now willing to pay players a full prorated share of their salaries, based on the number of games played. Players had asked for full prorated salaries in their last offer, so there is some clear progress in these negotiations.

However, the number of games to be played will still likely keep this negotiation process going. Players were also fighting for a longer season, calling for 114 games in their most recent offer, but Passan is reporting that MLB is envisioning a 50-game regular season as a potential “last resort.” While owners aren’t expected to propose that short season to players, that’s quite the significant gap remaining between the two sides.

Players have been pretty adamant about playing a longer season, which in turn, would bump up their paychecks. They believe they should be getting full salaries considering the conditions they’ll be playing in, while the owners have shot back that a March agreement about salaries was made under the impression that games would be played in front of fans. With no fans, owners stand to lose a considerable amount of revenue.

Owners are again pointing to that March agreement when figuring out the length of the shortened season, according to Passan.

So there is still no baseball season on the horizon, but it would appear that the possibility of a return is getting a bit more realistic.


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