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Timeline: How the back-and-forth between MLB and its players went down

Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

Major League Baseball owners and players finally came to a resolution in the saga to resume the season on Tuesday, with players agreeing to the health and safety protocols set forth. Players are expected to report on July 1.

But it took months to reach this point, with offers flying between the two parties calling for different season lengths, compensation plans, and more.

Here’s a rundown on the proposals, from the first agreement in late March to the latest this week.

Rob Manfred, commissioner of MLB, has been going back-and-forth with the players union on how to restart the season.
Rob Manfred, commissioner of MLB, has been going back-and-forth with the players union on how to restart the season.LM Otero/Associated Press

March 27: Baseball owners and players finalize an agreement establishing many of the financial rules that would govern a 2020 season. One measure they agreed on: If there is a season, salaries will be prorated based on the duration of a season (so a half season would result in a player receiving half his salary).

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May 15: MLB issues a 67-page health and safety proposal in which lineup cards would be eliminated, along with high-fives, fist bumps, and bat boys and girls. Team personnel will be banned from eating at restaurants on road trips, and mascots would be banned from the field.

May 26: After MLB owners propose an 82-game schedule and pay cuts beyond the salary reductions players agreed to in March, players immediately expressed their dissatisfaction with the proposal. Agent Scott Boras tells his clients that they should refuse MLB’s attempt to cut salaries.

May 27: The players union holds a conference call with its executive board, player representatives and alternate player representatives about the owners’ proposal for a sliding-scale, billion-plus-dollar pay-cut proposal that would impact the highest paid players the most.

May 31: The players union proposes playing a 114-game regular season that would start on June 30 and be followed by an expanded postseason. The union did not offer to take a pay cut, but did raise the possibility of deferrals. …The union embraces the owners’ idea of regional realignment, which means the traditional National and American leagues would remain intact but only within each region.

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June 3: MLB rejects the players’ pitch of playing a 114-game schedule and, without offering a counterproposal, will focus on implementing a regular season as short as 50 games.

June 8: The owners propose a 76-game schedule with a 25 percent cut if the playoffs are completed and 50 percent cut if they are not.

June 9: Major League Baseball players send an 89-game plan to the owners that included the expanded playoffs that the owners were seeking.

June 12: MLB makes a proposal that calls for a 72-game regular season, with 70 percent of the players’ prorated salaries guaranteed, and the percentage going to 80 percent if the playoffs can be completed.

June 13: The players reject the proposal for 72 games, and appear resigned to returning for a 50-game season at 100 percent of their prorated salary.

June 17: Major League Baseball offers a 60-game regular season that would begin on July 19 or 20, with players receiving full prorated pay, playoffs expanding to 16 teams this year and next, and the players waiving their right to file a grievance.

June 18: The Players Association wastes little time in making a counterproposal, offering to play a 70-game regular-season schedule. The players agreed that 16 teams would make the playoffs (currently there are 10 ) this year and next, and that the universal DH also would be part of the deal for both years.

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June 19: Major League Baseball informs the players’ union that the owners were not going to respond to the players’ 70-game proposal. By informing the union the season will not exceed 60 games, the owners set in motion the possibility of commissioner Rob Manfred setting the exact number of games if the union does not vote to accept the owners’ offer.

June 22: After the players reject the owners’ final 60-game proposal earlier in the day, owners vote unanimously to proceed with the 2020 season. Producing an actual schedule would require the union to abide by two demands: 1) players agree to report to camp by July 1, and 2) they agree to health and safety protocols the sides are still discussing.

June 23: The MLBPA shares that the final issues over report date and safety protocols had been resolved, and that players intended to report on July 1.


Follow Andrew Mahoney on Twitter @GlobeMahoney.