Despite coming to terms in March on service time and salaries for the 2020 regular season, Major League Baseball and the Players Association have been at odds over recent weeks due to interpretation of the language in that agreement.
MLB and its team owners asserted new negotiations were required because of the likelihood the season would begin without fans being able to attend games. The union has claimed that possibility was taken into account when the sides agreed to prorated salaries.
Team owners purportedly would lose more money paying prorated salaries for games that don’t draw attendance as opposed to simply cancelling the entire season. And despite some owners reportedly being willing to take such drastic action, there is some optimism the sides will eventually agree to a new deal.
But who may be willing to concede is essentially a $100 million question — particularly for the Los Angeles Dodgers. According to Ronald Blum of the Associated Press, that is the difference in salary owed when comparing MLB’s proposal and the counteroffer from the MLBPA:
The Yankees project to pay $155 million to players under the union’s plan, according to the AP analysis based on frozen March 28 rosters, and spend $48 million on salary under management’s proposal. The Astros drop from $149 million to $46 million and the Dodgers from $147 million to $46 million.
The AP looked at players’ 2020 salaries and based the comparisons on MLB’s sliding scale of cuts and the union’s desire for full prorated compensation for a 114-game season.
Upon rejecting that proposal, MLB reportedly began internal conversations about the possibility of imposing a shortened season, perhaps playing as few as 50 games.
“In this time of unprecedented suffering at home and abroad, Players want nothing more than to get back to work and provide baseball fans with the game we all love. But we cannot do this alone,” MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said in a lengthy statement.
“Earlier this week, Major League Baseball communicated its intention to schedule a dramatically shortened 2020 season unless Players negotiate salary concessions. The concessions being sought are in addition to billions in Player salary reductions that have already been agreed upon.
“This threat came in response to an Association proposal aimed at charting a path forward. Among other things, 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.”
The MLBPA has continued to maintain their stance of not accepting a pay cut on top of the prorated salaries they previously agreed to.
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