MLBPA reportedly rejects MLB owners’ offer.
The 2020 MLB season appears to be nowhere close to beginning.
Owners presented the Players Association with their latest offer on Tuesday in an attempt to reach an agreement to start the season. The reaction to it, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan and Evan Drellich of The Athletic, was disheartening.
The deal calls for a sliding scale of pay cuts in the event of an 82-game season played without fans. Higher-paid players will take the biggest cut, while players on the lower end of the salary spectrum would receive more of their salaries. Passan reports that some players “bristled” at the thought of taking bigger cuts, while Drellich quotes a source at the MLBPA that the players are “very disappointed” in the offer.
The MLB owners’ offer
Based on the latest offer by the owners, players with a higher salary would be subject to a pay cut of nearly 30 percent. That’s on top of the 50 percent pay reduction they would have if they only play 82 games. For a player making $30 million a season like the Nationals’ Max Scherzer or Manny Machado of the Padres, that would mean they would earn only $6.95 million in 2020, around 23 percent of their original salary.
The players argue they already signed a deal with the league in March that would pay them a prorated portion of their salary; owners counter that deal was contingent on playing with fans in the stands. On May 16, the league made a presentation to the players outlining how clubs would lose an average of $640,000 per game under that deal.
There is some good news emerging from the talks on Tuesday. The owners have appeared to move off the 50-50 revenue split they were previously proposing, an idea that the PA called a nonstarter and equivalent to a salary cap. The offer is also only the first in what’s sure to be a long and contentious negotiation before a deal is potentially reached. The two sides are also negotiating how to split playoff revenue and safety conditions.
Time, though, is running out. The league wants to start the season by early July, potentially on July 4. Camps would open in mid-June. In order for that scenario to become a reality, a deal will likely need to be reached by the first week of June, a date that is rapidly approaching.
The news on Tuesday that both sides remain far apart in negotiations may seem disappointing, but the fact they’re talking shows they’re committed to bringing baseball back to fans in 2020.