The Major League Baseball Players’ Association recently filed a grievance over the shortened 2020 season, as they had threatened to do since negotiations with the league soured last summer.
In turn, M.L.B. filed a countergrievance, and it has asked a three-person arbitration panel to expedite the process, according to a person familiar with the situation who was not authorized to speak publicly about a sensitive matter.
The filing of the grievance and the amount sought — an estimated $500 million in damages — were first reported by The New York Post on Thursday. The union confirmed the filing but declined to comment further.
The grievance will go before a three-person arbitration panel, for which each side appoints one member while the third is mutually agreed upon.
Last year, each side accused the other of not negotiating in good faith. After M.L.B. halted operations during spring training in March 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, the two sides quickly struck a return-to-play pact, but they interpreted that agreement in vastly different ways. It stated that players would be paid a prorated salary depending on how many games were played and that the sides would “discuss in good faith the economic feasibility of playing games in the absence of spectators.”
As the virus raged throughout the United States and it became increasingly clear fans would not be in the stands, team owners and players used sharp words and haggled for months over pay and the length of the season, which is normally 162 games.
M.L.B. — whose commissioner, Rob Manfred, has claimed the 30 clubs sustained a combined $3 billion in operating losses last year — repeatedly proposed pay cuts and a shorter season. Players held firm on receiving full prorated pay and pushed for a longer season, proposing one with as many as 114 games.
In June, Manfred exercised the league’s right to impose a schedule, setting up a 60-game season at full prorated pay. The season began on July 24 and ended with the World Series decided in late October, around the usual time. The sides later agreed to a playoff format that expanded the number of teams from 10 to 16.
This season, the sides returned to a 162-game season after the players’ union rejected an offer by M.L.B. in February to shorten the season by eight games and push the start back by nearly a month.
The sides have been increasingly mistrustful of each other, which has many people in the sport worried about a potential labor stoppage. Their collective bargaining agreement expires on Dec. 1. And now, following the grievances, the sides have another dispute on their hands.
Judge Homers Twice in Win Over Orioles
Aaron Judge hit two more home runs against Baltimore, Gio Urshela had a go-ahead, pinch-hit shot and the Yankees overcame a spate of injuries to beat the Orioles, 5-4, Friday night.
Judge is now 10 for 19 with five home runs facing the Orioles this season. He has 13 career multi-homer games, five of them against Baltimore.
Urshela is still hampered by a left knee injury but was available off the bench in the seventh. After Miguel Andujar singled and Kyle Higashioka earned a walk, Urshela hit the second pinch-hit homer of his career off Travis Lakins (1-4) to erase a 4-2 deficit.
The Yankees were missing several key players, including shortstop Gleyber Torres (Covid-19), center fielder Aaron Hicks (left wrist) and slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who was a late scratch with left quad tightness.
Yankees starter Corey Kluber (3-2) allowed four runs and seven hits with six strikeouts over six innings. He also posted his 1,500th career strikeout in the third.
It was the second time in 17 days Kluber earned a win against Baltimore, which fell to 0-16 when trailing after eight innings.
Jonathan Loaisiga picked up his second save. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Rays Get Walk-Off Win Over Mets
Brett Phillips hit an R.B.I. single with two outs in the ninth inning and the Tampa Bay Rays stopped the Mets’ seven-game winning streak, rallying for a 3-2 win on Friday night.
After starters Tyler Glasnow and David Peterson both pitched well into the late innings, the Rays came back against the Mets’ bullpen.
Tied at 2, Tampa Bay loaded the bases with one out in the ninth against Miguel Castro (0-1) on a walk to Brandon Lowe, a single by Willy Adams and a walk to Mike Zunino.
Reliever Aaron Loup struck out Joey Wendle before Phillips singled.
Pete Fairbanks (1-0) worked the ninth.
Glasnow struck out 10 in eight innings, allowing two runs and five hits. He retired the first 14 batters before Kevin Pillar reached on an infield single in the fifth and Jonathan Villar followed with a home run.
Peterson had set down 17 straight batters before Zunino hit a solo homer in the eighth. Later in inning, Manuel Margot hit a tying double off Trevor May. (AP)