As the initially scheduled start — March 26 — of the 2020 regular season was rapidly approaching, Major League Baseball and the Players Association worked to come to an agreement on pay for players, service time and free agency.
The union received $170 million that was to be spread out over April and May, and players also agreed to prorated salaries for the regular season. But as baseball remains on hold because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, there appears to be tension building.
Indications in some states is that games will not be played with fans in attendance, which of course eliminates gate receipts (revenue) for teams. Because of that it’s considered possible MLB will ask players to agree to new terms for their salaries.
As there may be another round of financial discussions, some within the sport believe MLB would benefit from a new economic plan, even if only for the 2020 regular season, according to Evan Drellich of The Athletic:
Some league officials and team executives believe the best plan for baseball in 2020 would include a totally revised economic system — a revenue-sharing arrangement between the players and teams, if only for one year.
As the possibility of players and teams revisiting salaries for 2020 continues to be speculated about, MLBPA executive director Tony Clark has made it clear the union considers the original agreement to have already addressed the matter.
The idea that new economics would be required in 2020 was a possibility Justin Turner recently raised when he alluded to the league and union essentially needing to hammer out a new collective bargaining agreement.
Beyond salaries, MLB is already cutting into the pool of players as the 2020 Draft is expected to only be five rounds. In addition to it being shortened, draft bonuses are scheduled to be delayed and paid over a two-year stretch.
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