In what seems like a never ending battle between Major League Baseball owners and the Players Association (MLBPA), the latest development is that MLB has rejected the MLBPA offer of a 114-game regular season with no additional salary cuts. Sources say that the MLB does not plan to make a counter proposal.
Players made their proposal on Sunday May 31st, which expanded on the 82-game regular season proposal from the League that was made last week. the players want an opening Day of June 30 and a regular season end of Oct. 31, nearly five weeks after the Sept. 27 conclusion in MLB’s proposal, which sticks to the season’s original schedule. As reported in The Atlantic, MLB told the union it had no interest in extending the season into November when it fears a second wave of the coronavirus could disrupt the postseason and jeopardize close to a billion dollars in broadcast revenue.
Though not officially proposed, since rejecting the players current offer, MLB has floated the idea of playing a 50-game regular season as a counter to the players idea of playing 114 games. Players want to play more games, the league wants to play less. Why? Because the league doesn’t want to pay the players more money when they will make less from fan-less games.
According to ESPN, MLB’s May 26 proposal would lower 2020 salaries from about $4 billion to approximately $1.2 billion. A sliding scale of reductions would be established in which players at the $563,500 minimum would get about 47% of their original salary, and those at the top — led by Mike Trout and Gerrit Cole at $36 million — would receive less than 23%. The union’s offer would have salaries total about $2.8 billion, leaving each player with about 70% of his original salary.
In the end, this is all boiling down to money and greed on both sides. Pay the players and let’s get on with the game. Our view is that money will come back in spades if the league is able to salvage the season. Damages from losing the season will have long term consequences that are worse than losses from a short term hiccup.