AP Source: Manfred, Clark meet in Arizona

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FILE – In this Nov. 21, 2019, file photo, baseball commissioner Rob Manfred speaks to the media at the owners meeting in Arlington, Texas. The chance that there will be no Major League Baseball season increased substantially Monday, June 15, 2020, when the commissioner’s office told the players’ association it will not proceed with a schedule amid the coronavirus pandemic unless the union waives its right to claim management violated a March agreement between the feuding sides. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred met with players’ union head Tony Clark in Arizona in an attempt to restart talks aimed at starting the pandemic-delayed season.

The meeting was disclosed to The Associated Press by a person familiar with the session who spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcement was made.

Clark has homes in the Phoenix area and in New Jersey, and he has been in Arizona since spring training was cut short on March 12. The meeting Monday was called at Manfred’s request, the person said.

FILE – In this Feb. 19, 2017, file photo, Major League Players Association Executive Director Tony Clark, answers questions at a news conference in Phoenix. Commissioner Rob Manfred says there might be no major league season after a breakdown in talks between teams and the union on how to split up money in a season delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. The league also said several players have tested positive for COVID-19. Two days after union head Clark declared additional negotiations futile, Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem sent a seven-page letter to players’ association chief negotiator Bruce Meyer asking the union whether it will waive the threat of legal action and tell MLB to announce a spring training report date and a regular season schedule. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)

Major League Baseball has made three proposals to start the season and the union two, and the sides remain about $1 billion apart in guaranteed salary. Players originally were set to earn $4 billion in salaries before the coronavirus outbreak began.

The union cut off talks Saturday, a day after MLB’s last proposal, and said additional negotiations were futile. Players told MLB to unilaterally set the schedule but Manfred said MLB would not while there was a threat of a grievance.

The sides reached a deal on March 26 in which players agreed to prorated salaries, part of an agreement that included a guarantee of service time even if no games are played this year.

Teams say they need more pay cuts to afford to play in empty ballparks. Players say they will not accept additional salary reductions.

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