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The owners are officially imposing a 2020 season

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It’s not officially official, but the negotiations are finally over.

2019 Major League Baseball Winter Meetings Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

You know what has been an absolute drag? Watching the negotiations for a 2020 season between the owners and the players association be dragged out into the public sphere on a daily basis with no progress being made. It certainly wasn’t a situation where both sides were equally to blame like it has been framed by some, but the whole process has just been draining. It seems like that part of it is over at least.

Things got started on Monday with the players coming together for a vote on whether or not to accept the league’s proposal for a 60-game season. Representatives from all 30 teams plus the eight members of the executive committee voted on the proposal, and it did not pass with 33 voting no and only five voting yes. That put the ball back in the courts of the owners. Per the March 26 agreement, the owners had full authority to implement a season, and once the players stopped the negotiation with their no vote it was up to the owners to either do that and scrap the season all together.

They are not going to scrap the season all together. Finally, they have been doing what has seemed inevitable for a couple of weeks now (minus a few points of optimism for another agreement) by imposing a season of their own. They released a statement regarding the season, as you can see below.

Most of that statement is just more posturing to get public opinion on their side and point the players as the unreasonable ones, but at this point we no longer have to worry about that posturing. Maybe. There are two conditions for a season to actually happen referenced above. For one, players have to say they’ll be ready to report to spring training on July 1, which is only a week. They also have to agree to the Operating Manual with their health and safety protocols.

All of this is to say, the owners are ready to set their 60-game season, but I’m not willing to say it’s a slam dunk that the players respond positively to the two questions. I don’t have the knowledge on the Operating Manual to say whether or not it is a good agreement or one that the players do or even should find satisfactory. The week to report is a pretty quick turnaround, though. Ultimately I would expect a season to happen, but don’t be surprised if this gets dragged out another couple of days because everything is terrible.