More than two weeks after team owners agreed on a proposal for the 2020 regular season, it was presented to the Major League Baseball Players Association on Tuesday, drawing immediate backlash.
Players were angered by owners presenting an economic plan that called for a sliding scale of pay cuts, with top earners taking more of a financial hit than those making the minimum. On the surface, it’s a strategy taken by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and top executives, the Los Angeles Dodgers and other clubs, and various businesses as well.
However, to the MLBPA, it was interpreted as being asked to take a further pay reduction after already agreeing to do so by way of prorated salaries. MLB insists language in that March agreement called for more negotiations and a new deal if the financial outlook changed.
While team owners are maintaining they can’t afford to pay players prorated salaries under a scenario of having games without fans in attendance, the union reportedly will counter with keeping prorated pay and possibly playing more than half a season, according to Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic:
The Players Association plans to respond to Major League Baseball’s request for additional pay cuts by insisting players receive their full prorated salaries and proposing a schedule of longer than 82 games, according to sources with knowledge of the union’s thinking.
The Dodgers reportedly would lose $232 million by paying prorated salaries for games that don’t draw attendance, which is second only to the New York Yankees ($312 million).
Despite the two parties being at odds for several weeks running, there has been optimism a resolution would be reached. Though, much of that was expressed prior to MLB submitting their latest proposal.
Along with the economic factors hovering over the sport for 2020, MLB and the MLBPA must additionally come to terms on health and safety protocols in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
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