MLB Owners Fire Back With New Proposal
The struggles between the owners of Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association continue to run rampant and endanger the potential return of the sport in the 2020 season. Originally, the owners presented an option to the players centered around an 82-game schedule with a sliding scale dealing with pay cuts to the prorated salaries that would range from 72.5 percent for players making a million dollars or less to 20 percent for those players who are making $20 million or more on the season.
The players denounced the salary cuts, with the union making a statement of their own. “The proposal involves massive additional pay cuts and the union is extremely disappointed. We're also far apart on health and safety protocols.” Max Scherzer stated that he saw no reason for the union to even consider further pay cuts beyond what they had already conceded in the original conversation back in March. On Sunday, the players countered back with their offer of a 114-game season with full prorated salaries. In addition, they wanted expanded playoffs for the next two years and the potential for players to opt out of playing the season without losing service time. Players deemed high-risk would still receive their salary even if they didn’t take the field.
On Monday, according to reports from Jeff Passan, the owners are going to fire back with another proposal of their own. The reports state that the owners are willing to give on the full prorated salaries but it comes with a hefty price tag of its own. Now, instead of the 82 games that the owners originally pitched and the 114 games that the players were seeking, now owners are looking at somewhere in the neighborhood of a 50-game slate. The exact number still is being worked out at this point in time.
As it stands, the owners were given the right to make the schedule as a part of that March agreement between the owners and the players association. Based on that premise, the league feels that they have the ability to dictate a shorter campaign, whether or not the players agree to a deal or not at this point in time. It’s already been reported that there are some owners who are willing to completely punt the season in order to save financial losses and worry about 2021 and beyond. Never mind the potential long-term damage that could do to the sport as some owners, like Pittsburgh’s Bob Nutting, are notoriously shortsighted.
This potential concession of going with the full prorated structure of salaries could be the first step in a new deal and getting things on track for an eventual season. Of course, the players could hear 50 games and balk in a hurry, sending things into complete chaos. Could we see 50 games? What about 60, 65 or even as many as the original 82 that the owners proposed? Might we simply end up with zero and left hanging on to last season’s World Series and games like MLB The Show and Out of the Park 21 in order to get us through the summer of discontent? Time will tell how things will unfold but one thing is clear: there are conversations going on at the moment between the two sides and that’s something. How things unfold in the coming days between the sides will give a more definitive answer as to whether or not we’ll have a 2020 season.
At this point, all we can do is hope. It’s not the most comfortable place to be sitting as a fan but it’s something that is the reality that we have. We’ll see how things unfold and see what’s going to take place in the coming days.