Major League Baseball (MLB) unequivocally rebuffed their Players Association’s (MLBPA) proposal for a regular season comprised of 114 games with zero salary cuts. The MLB has also indicated to the PA that it does not plan on making a counter to their proposal anytime soon.
The PA forwarded their proposal on 31 May and raised the MLB’s offer of an 82-game regular season to 114 and wanted to hold the season from June 30 to Oct. 31, almost five weeks after the MLB’s original proposed end date of Sept. 27.
The MLB has made it clear to the PA that they are not interested in extending the season, fearing that COVID-19 could come back and suspend the preseason, potentially resulting in the MLB having to eat a $787 million loss in broadcast earnings.
The MLB has stated before that a shorter regular season comprised of 50 or so games with zero pay cuts would be possible, but has yet to propose this to the PA formally. In the lead-up to the discussions, PA members and representatives have all been emphatic that they want to play more games, and would reject any schedule with fewer games.
ESPN First Take
Both players and teams wish to begin their season in empty ballparks. Teams have argued before that zero salary cuts would cause large losses on their end. In response, both sides agreed on March 26 for players to garner prorated salaries. For this, the teams had to give up around $170 million in advance salaries, as well as guaranteeing that, if the 2020 baseball season is scrapped, all players would receive service time that matches what they earned in 2019.
The deal also stipulated that future negotiations must be negotiated in “good faith”.
PA Stand Firm on Pay Cuts Issue
The PA has been adamant about accepting no further pay cuts. MLB’s proposal on May 26 would drastically decrease the salaries of players from around $4 billion to just $1.2 billion. The reductions are instituted on a sliding scale, impacting players at the top the most.
Major League Baseball Players Association Executive Director Tony Clark today released the following statement: pic.twitter.com/jEdgARWhQy
— MLBPA Communications (@MLBPA_News) June 5, 2020
For instance, minimum salary players who get around $563,500 per year would receive roughly 47% of their salary, while max-level players like Gerrit Cole and Mike Trout who get around $36 million per year will receive a little over 20%.
The PA’s proposal would raise the $1.2 billion figure to $2.8 billion, with all players receiving around 70% of their original salaries. We will have to wait and see how the PA responds.