Trevor Bauer Calls out MLB for Making Return to Play Negotiations Public

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer throws against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first inning during a baseball game, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Trevor Bauer wishes the ongoing negotiations between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association would have remained private.

“I don’t think any of this should have been made public,” the 29-year-old All-Star told CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney (h/t the New York Post‘s Michael Binn). “That’s the most concerning thing to me. I haven’t even seen the full proposal. That’s not how you’re supposed to negotiate. It’s meant to pit owners on the ‘right’ side of things and players as the greedy ones.”

Bauer previously spoke out against the proposal Wednesday:

Trevor Bauer @BauerOutage

My reaction to the @Mlb return to play proposal. It’s laughable. @AgentRachelLuba makes some very good points HERE regarding the proposed revenue split and the problems with it. https://t.co/2CBH1FlRyK

Trevor Bauer @BauerOutage

Same song and dance from @mlb. Leak a story. Negotiate through the media. Make players out to be the bad guys. Players already agreed to a pay cut. We negotiated. WE HAVE AN AGREEMENT. Now they want to go back on it so they can make more money? GTFO. @AgentRachelLuba is spot on. https://t.co/cHpmVTj6cu

The two sides agreed to terms on a shortened 2020 season back in late March, which Yahoo Sports’ Mark Townsend outlined:

“MLB owners have agreed to advance players portions of salaries to be spread out over April and May. If there is no season, that money will be kept by the players. Each of the 30 teams will contribute just short of $95,000 per day to eligible players for 60 days or until start of 2020 season, not to exceed $170 million. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal adds that salaries will be pro-rated based on length of season, and players have agreed not to sue for full salaries.

“As previously reported, the players would accrue a full year of service time if they are active for the shortened season. If the season is canceled, players would gain the same amount of service time they accrued in 2019, which is important because it means players like Mookie Betts or Trevor Bauer would become free agents as scheduled.”

MLB owners approved a new proposal to present to the Players Association on Monday, and the two sides met Tuesday:

Ken Rosenthal @Ken_Rosenthal

MLB owners have approved a proposal for the 2020 season to present to the players’ union, source tells The Athletic. Meeting expected between union and league tomorrow.

Evan Drellich @EvanDrellich

Meeting between MLB and MLBPA has ended. MLB did not make an economic proposal. Discussions expected to continue.

It seems the most controversial detail to emerge from Tuesday’s meeting was a proposed revenue-sharing plan:

Evan Drellich @EvanDrellich

MLB says it’s not a salary cap.
“We’re not trying to regulate payrolls, we’re not trying to set a precedent, none of the above.”

The MLBPA says it is. “A system that restricts player pay based on revenues is a salary cap, period.”

With @Ken_Rosenthal:

https://t.co/Qx0xvmpmzm

Speak For Yourself @SFY

.@Ken_Rosenthal talks about the MLB’s proposal to players

“In some respects the financial question is tied to health in that the players believe, rightly so, that they’re the ones taking the risk.” https://t.co/rjLuA18L7m

Jeff Passan @JeffPassan

Nothing about MLB and the MLBPA’s talks Tuesday changed the calculus in any negotiation right now: Both parties have far too much to lose to allow something as solvable as money to wreck a season. Talked more about it with @Espngreeny on @GetUpESPN this morning. https://t.co/YvrDcoVsMA

Tampa Bay Rays ace Blake Snell said during a Wednesday Twitch stream he would not play an abbreviated 2020 campaign under another pay cut:

John Flanigan @jflan816

Here’s Blake Snell discussing MLB’s revenue split proposal this afternoon on Twitch. https://t.co/CCyCai42Aj

Philadelphia Phillies All-Star outfielder Bryce Harper backed up the 2018 American League Cy Young Award winner.

“He ain’t lying,” Harper said, per NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Corey Seidman. “He’s speaking the truth, bro. I ain’t mad at him. Somebody’s gotta say it, at least he manned up and said it. Good for him. I love Snell. The guy’s a beast. One of the best lefties in the game.”

Meanwhile, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred addressed with Anderson Cooper on Thursday night how the league would navigate health and safety in a potential return to play:

Anderson Cooper 360° @AC360

“All of our players would be tested multiple times a week” for coronavirus, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred says on the efforts to bring baseball back. “That testing would be supplemented less frequently by antibody testing as well.”
#CNNTownHall
https://t.co/zU95g1FwYr https://t.co/J1MKyc5AJ0

Even with all of these obstacles, Bauer predicted MLB will be in action by July:

TikiAndTierney @TikiAndTierney

Everyone saying Baseball could be back July 4th 🇺🇸🎇

@BauerOutage thinks closer to MID-July https://t.co/J38DZA8S6k

Opening Day was scheduled for March 26, but MLB canceled spring training and delayed the regular season on March 12.