Report: Manfred close to ‘nuclear’ option, shortened season


MLB commissioner Rob Manfred is close to using his “nuclear option” to end the acrimonious negotiations between players and owners, USA Today reported.

Manfred wields the option of shortening the 2020 season without good faith negotiations with the MLB Players Association and plans to use that power if the sides can’t close on an agreement within a week, USA Today said, citing three Major League Baseball executives.

MLBPA has the latest proposal on the table — 89 games, full prorated salaries and playoff expansion for this season and next — but ESPN reported owners considered the length of the season a “nonstarter.”

The 89-game plan was a counter to the 76-game schedule which drew harsh criticism from players. The deal was formally rejected.

One executive cited by USA Today, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said: “If we don’t get an agreement real soon, this is going to be ugly,” the executive said. “Real ugly. And it’s just going to get worse.”

MLB has also proposed a shorter season, with games starting in July and ending Sept. 27.

—Field Level Media