Report: Rob Manfred, Tony Clark Had ‘Productive’ Face-to-Face Meeting in AZ (Updated)

Make of this what you will, but MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and MLBPA chief executive Tony Clark reportedly had a face-to-face meeting in Arizona that Jon Heyman described as “productive.” The fact that they were sitting down in the same room is a positive sign in and of itself, and that’s even before you consider that Manfred is the one who requested the meeting.

I’m not sure whether or to what extent Manfred reads his own press, but maybe the overt criticism of his lack of leadership may have spurred him to action. Even if the man’s legacy as commissioner is already set in concrete, perhaps there’s still time to cure the ills of the ongoing financial impasse. That’d be quite a feat considering the owners have thus far been too cheap to spring for a tube of triple antibiotic ointment and store-brand bandages.

Now let’s hope the meeting was more than just the two leaders yelling at each other and that something productive comes of it here very soon. Of course, this begs the question of why in the name of all things holy did this not happen weeks ago. I mean, fire up the ol’ Zoom room and hash stuff out like adults maybe. Anyway, I feel good about what little we know at this point.

There’s still a lot to work through, but progress appears to have been made. As everyone is well aware by now, the players need full prorated salaries and the owners need assurances that they won’t be hit with a grievance. They also want to be indemnified against an health-related legal filings.

Per Ken Rosenthal, the owners’ latest proposal is for 60 games in 70 starting a little past the middle of July. There would be expanded playoffs for the next two seasons, something the players have proposed, and waiving any potential grievance.

The players will almost certainly counter, if they choose to soften the stance from this past weekend, with another handful of games or so and maybe something can be done.

Here is the statement from Rob Manfred.

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