LM Otero/Associated Press
Major League Baseball has reportedly made a new proposal to the Major League Baseball Players Association.
According to ESPN’s Karl Ravech, the league is offering to pay the players 75 percent of their prorated salaries over the course of a shortened 76-game season:
Karl Ravech @karlravechespn
MLB has made proposal to Players. 75 percent Prorated salary. 76 game season. Playoff pool money. No draft pick compensation for signing player. Season finishes September 27th. Post season ends at end of October. Significant move towards players demands and effort to play more.
Jeff Passan of ESPN later provided a detailed look at the league’s latest proposal:
Jeff Passan @JeffPassan
ESPN has obtained a copy of MLB’s proposal today to the players. HERE are the pertinent details:
– 76-game season
– $1,431,716,000 in potential compensation (75% of the full prorated salary of $1,909,436 over 76 games)
– Up to 8 playoff teams per league (at MLB’s discretion)
According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich, the union plans to reject the league’s latest proposal. However, Rosenthal and Drellich noted baseball is “increasingly likely to be played in 2020,” barring any coronavirus-related issues.
Per Mike Axisa of CBS Sports, all three offers from the owners thus far—the other two include playing 82 games on a sliding-scale pay structure and 50 games at the previously negotiated prorated salary—would pay the players about 33 percent of their original salaries.
According to Drellich and Bob Nightengale of USA Today, players view the latest proposal as a step in the wrong direction:
Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Andrew McCutchen summed up the player reaction rather succinctly:
As Joel Sherman of the New York Post noted, the prorated agreement the players made with the owners in March means commissioner Rob Manfred could start the season at any time. Doing so would almost assuredly result in a dramatically shortened season, likely 50 games long.
If there is going to be a season, the commonly reported belief is that it will need to start soon:
MLB owners say they will lose enormous amounts of money with no fans able to attend games because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The players have countered that owners keep any surplus revenue in good years, so they should absorb the hit in one lean year.
Additionally, the players have maintained they already took a pay cut by agreeing to prorated salaries and don’t want to negotiate a second one. Unless the owners make a dramatic new offer, a 50-game season seems the most likely outcome.