MLB mega-agent Scott Boras sent a memo to his clients saying that MLB players shouldn’t “bail out” owners by accepting increased pay cuts.
On Thursday, the Associated Press reported on an email memo Boras sent to his clients. The email comes in light of MLB’s latest proposal to the players which included a sliding scale of pay cuts for players which would mean the highest earners would take the biggest cuts.
The players are determined not to accept a pay cut beyond the prorated salaries they already agreed to for a shortened season. Boras implored his clients to remember that “games cannot be played without you.”
In the email, Boras – who represents some of the game’s biggest, wealthiest stars – wrote:
“Remember, games cannot be played without you. Players should not agree to further pay cuts to bail out the owners. Let owners take some of their record revenues and profits from the past several years and pay you the prorated salaries you agreed to accept or let them borrow against the asset values they created from the use of those profits players generated.”
“Owners are asking for more salary cuts to bail them out of the investment decisions they have made. If this was just about baseball, playing games would give the owners enough money to pay the players their full prorated salaries and run the baseball organization. The owners’ current problem is a result of the money they borrowed when they purchased their franchises, renovated their stadiums or developed land around their ballparks. This type of financing is allowed and encouraged by MLB because it has resulted in significant franchise valuations.”
“Owners now want players to take additional pay cuts to help them pay these loans. They want a bailout. They are not offering players a share of the stadiums, ballpark villages or the club itself, even though salary reductions would help owners pay for these valuable franchise assets. These billionaires want the money for free. No bank would do that. Banks demand loans be repaid with interest. Players should be entitled to the same respect.”
Boras client Max Scherzer, one of eight players on the MLBPA executive subcommittee, came out against the owners’ latest plan in a statement on Wednesday night. Scherzer’s statement said in part, “there’s no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions. We have previously negotiated a pay cut in the version of prorated salaries, and there’s no justification to accent a 2nd pay cut based upon the current information the union has received.”
The leaked memo seems like a pretty strong statement just 25 days after Boras published an opinion piece in the New York Times titled “We Have To Bring Baseball Back” which said that the game needed to return “for the sake of America” and espoused the belief that “baseball can and should start up again soon to provide a release for our country desperately in need of live sports entertainment.”
Of course, Boras is worried about his money. Before, he was worried about the game coming back to get players paid again and now he is worried about getting them paid as much as possible.
Boras had been in the news on Wednesday night, when outspoken pitcher Trevor Bauer tweeted about rumors of Boras “meddling” with the union. It appears we now know what Bauer was alluding to, even if it seems like the agent was in the players’ corner.