Major League Baseball and the MLB Player’s Association are not the best of friends at the moment. The MLBPA once again rejected MLB’s proposal for a 2020 season on Thursday; ensuring another stage of what have been difficult negotiations.
“Earlier this week, Major League Baseball communicated its intention to schedule a dramatically shortened 2020 season unless players negotiate salary concessions,” the statement read.
“The concessions being sought are in addition to billions in player salary reductions that have already been agreed upon.”
MLBPA rejected the owner’s second season proposal one day after MLB rejected the player’s first counteroffer; so let’s take a closer look at the negotiations.
On March 26 both sides came to a preliminary agreement with basic stipulations that could change later. At the time they agreed that should the 2020 season not happen the player’s would receive four percent of their salaries; and if it did happen they’d get their normal salary prorated to the amount of games played.
For the most part the MLBPA believes this is enough of a loss for its members; especially considering the increased risk of exposure. Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Blake Snell said he would sit out before taking another pay cut this year.
“If I’m gonna play, I should be getting the money I signed to be getting paid. I should not be getting half of what I’m getting paid because the season’s cut in half, on top of a 33% cut of the half that’s already there — so I’m really getting, like, 25%.”
Two months after agreeing to prorated salaries in the 2020 season; MLB officially proposed a potential Coronavirus solution on May 26.
The proposal included 82 games starting in July with the regular season still ending in September. But the deal also included a pay structure that demanded players with massive contracts to get fractions of their expected money.
MLBPA swiftly and soundly rejected the plan; saying “the proposal involves massive additional pay cuts and the union is extremely disappointed.”
The player’s union responded with a plan including 114-game regular season plus extended playoffs; along with the full prorated salary agreed upon in March. While the league didn’t go for this plan; SNY’s Andy Martino reported the league is willing to give the players most of what they are demanding in terms of health and safety policies.
The major gulf that remains for the parties is the issue of season length and compensation; an issue that is still contentious.
“Players proposed more games, two years of expanded playoffs, salary deferrals in the event of a 2020 playoff cancellation, and the exploration of additional jewel events and broadcast enhancements aimed at creatively bringing our players to the fans while simultaneously increasing the value of our product,” Clark said.
“Rather than engage, the league replied it will shorten the season unless players agree to further salary reductions.”
Talks between the sides are currently at a stand still; but all isn’t lost for baseball fans. Per the March 26 agreement, commissioner Rob Manfred can unilaterally institute a regular season of any length with teams paying the full prorated salary.
But for the sake of the game however, let’s hope they can reach a deal.