Cincinnati Reds President of Baseball Operations Dick Williams was on the Reds Hot Stove League show on Wednesday night. He joined hosts Tommy Thrall and Jim Day for the show and one of the very first things he addressed was the current situation of no baseball and the on-going negotiations between ownership around Major League Baseball and the players. Thrall asked Williams “What is your level of optimism right now?” about the negotiations. He’s the response from Williams:
Right now the sides are talking, getting down to brass tax, they’re exchanging specific proposals. Jim’s right, get in the most amount of games. The sooner we get going the better. There’s no reason we can’t get this thing started soon. We’ve got some economic issues that the players association and MLB are going to work out and some health discussions to be had. I’m confident our staff will implement all the health protocols and the players will be kept safe. So let’s get the economic issues resolved and get going. I really think both sides want to play. That’s all I hear from our players. That’s all I hear from our ownership. The sides want to make a deal happen. It’s there to be had and I think we’re very close.
While Williams is certainly optimistic in his response, not everyone is quite there with him on the optimism meter. C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic had this to say last night:
If — and this is a huge if because I don't share the optimism of some — there is an agreement, I don't know if I see more than 82 games https://t.co/OmD9uv4vwK
— C. ???????????? (@ctrent) June 3, 2020
As we’ve noted here before, MLB rejected the MLBPA’s proposal of a 114-game schedule earlier this week. Rob Manfred as the commissioner of baseball, reportedly has the ability to unilaterally set the length of the season as long as the players are paid their prorated salaries according to the agreement between the two sides that was reached in March. The rumors are that the owners don’t want to use that option, which would seemingly put them in about a 50-60 game schedule, but that it’s there if the two sides can’t come to a different agreement. That would then put the players in a situation to either play or to strike.
It seems like, assuming the health side of things can be taken care of, there’s going to be a season of some kind in 2020. How long that season lasts, and when that season starts, however, is a much bigger question.
With all of that said, Thrall, Day, and Williams address many other things on the Hot Stove League show, including giving updates on Eugenio Suarez, Nick Senzel, talking a little bit about the upcoming draft, and more. You can listen to the entire Hot Stove League show below. You can subscribe to the podcast on pretty much every single one of your favorite podcast apps, or you can manually add the RSS feed into your podcast app of choice, too.