How Rob Manfred should end Major League Baseball labor war and start 2020 season

While there still is no agreement between the two sides on a 2020 season, it seems they are moving closer to making that happen, which is positive news for everyone involved.

"We believe this offer represents the basis for an agreement on resumption of play", MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said in a released statement.

News of the meeting broke Wednesday afternoon after Manfred issued a statement about his meeting with Clark in Phoenix on Tuesday. The meeting was held at Manfred's request, and Manfred now is expected to try to forge a consensus among owners.

Any proposal would need to be approved by MLB's owners, too. "Consistent with our conversations yesterday, I am encouraging the clubs to move forward and I trust Tony is doing the same".

Many took that to mean the players would be filing a grievance against Major League Baseball in which they might seek $1 billion.

On Saturday, the union rejected the owners' third offer, saying further negotiation would be "futile" and demanding that owners "tell us when and where" to report for work. Players say they will not accept additional salary reductions.

Under that framework, considered by the league as the precursor to a deal and by the union as a proposal, the players would get around $1.51 billion in salary this season. The league also included the adoption of expanded playoffs and a designated hitter in each league in the 2020 and 2021 seasons, after which the collective bargaining agreement expires. And, MLB's framework is reportedly contingent on the union waiving a potential grievance against the league for some of the stuff you just read.

To be clear: no deal has been yet reached, and the Players Association would still prefer a regular season longer than the 60 games that is on the table - the better to reclaim as much of their original pay as possible.

Manfred and Clark had appeared to recede into the background last week as the lead negotiator for each side traded nasty letters. Commissioner Rob Manfred and Clark met privately Tuesday and Wednesday, forming what Manfred called the "framework" for an agreement.

The clock is now ticking, especially if baseball wants to start spring training before the end of June and have an Opening Day around July 19.