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MLBPA rejects counterproposal, MLB pushes Opening Day back to April 14

Another week of games has been dropped from the schedule.

Photo by Simon Bruty /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images

We’ve waited all day for word from Major League Baseball and the MLBPA on various proposals and forms of deals that could be made.

It’s not my place here to tell you about all of that, the answer is, “It’s complicated.”

What I can tell you right now is this:

Where we stand right now with that counterproposal is unclear, but Commissioner Rob Manfred issued this statement:

“In a last-ditch effort to preserve a 162-game season, this week we have made good-faith proposals that address the specific concerns voiced by the MLBPA and would have allowed the players to return to the field immediately. The Clubs went to extraordinary lengths to meet the substantial demands of the MLBPA. On the key economic issues that have posed stumbling blocks, the Clubs proposed ways to bridge gaps to preserve a full schedule. Regrettably, after our second late-night bargaining session in a week, we remain without a deal.

“Because of the logistical realities of the calendar, another two series are being removed from the schedule, meaning that Opening Day is postponed until April 14th. We worked hard to reach an agreement and offered a fair deal with significant improvements for the players and our fans. I am saddened by this situation’s continued impact on our game and all those who are a part of it, especially our loyal fans.

“We have the utmost respect for our players and hope they will ultimately choose to accept the fair agreement they have been offered.”

“Fair,” obviously, is in the eye of the beholder.

The current schedule has the Cubs opening a four-game series in Denver against the Rockies on April 14, and in addition to the two series cancelled last week, this announcement removes a four-game home series against the Brewers and a two-game set against the Pirates in Pittsburgh.

That makes a total of 11 games taken off the Cubs schedule so far, although as we have seen, the concept of a “deadline” has been pretty fluid this week. Negotiations today even were supposed to have an end result of a 162-game schedule, but at this point, who knows?

There’s been no announcement about the remaining Spring Training games, which were to start March 18, but I think it’s safe to assume there will be cancellations there as well.

As always, we await developments.