6:01pm: Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com has more details on MLB’s proposed cuts, tweeting that a player on a $35MM salary would make roughly $7.8MM, someone at $10MM would earn in the $2.9MM vicinity and a $1MM player would pull in $434K. ESPN’s Jeff Passan has further info here.
5:00pm: “We made a proposal to the union that is completely consistent with the economic realities facing our sport. We look forward to a responsive proposal from the MLBPA,” MLB spokesman Pat Courtney stated (via Jon Heyman of MLB Network, on Twitter).
3:39pm: The MLBPA’s “very disappointed” with MLB’s proposal, Evan Drellich and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic report (on Twitter). While the league offered to share more playoff revenue, the players still don’t feel as if they’d do well in this situation. They believe they’d still have to make “massive” additional cuts, Drellich tweets. Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link) adds that the two sides are also far apart on health and safety issues. The union higher-ups will hold further discussions with the players before deciding whether to continue with negotiations, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter).
1:58pm: Major League Baseball owners have agreed to a revised economic plan for a shortened 2020 season and will present the proposal to the MLB Players Association today. Per USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, owners have scrapped the idea of a 50-50 revenue split and will instead suggest a sliding scale of pay reductions for players. Those with the largest guaranteed salaries would surrender the largest percentage of their salaries, while players with the smallest salaries would earn “most” of their guaranteed money, Nightengale adds.
Any league proposal figures to be met with some pushback from the players’ side. It’s hard to imagine that ownership will simply structure a reduction scale in such a fashion that players immediately accept. It’s notable in light of the early report on the proposal, too, that what constitutes “most” of a lesser-compensated player’s salary seems likely to be defined differently by owners and players.
Players, according to Travis Sawchick of FiveThirtyEight (Twitter links), have been amenable to the expanded 14-team postseason structure and are open to playing more games than in the floated 82-game schedule — both of which would create additional revenue for all parties. ESPN’s Jeff Passan suggested this morning that the MLBPA’s counter-proposal could indeed push for more than 82 games (Twitter link, with video). Deferred payments on 2020 salaries have been an oft-speculated point of compromise as well. Ownership is already deferring payouts of the signing bonuses in this year’s shortened MLB Draft.
It’s in everyone’s best interest to come to terms both on financials and health/safety guidelines as quickly as possible. The league’s longstanding hope has been for a mid-June reboot of training camps and an early-July start to the season — presumably over Independence Day weekend.
Had the initial March agreement between the two sides held up, that might well be more plausible, but that document confoundingly neglected to address what would happen should games be played in the absence of fans (or at least to address it in precise terms). As such, the MLBPA has been waiting on today’s forthcoming economic proposal for several weeks. The initial plan, the aforementioned revenue split, was rejected outright by MLBPA chief Tony Clark before the league could even formally present it.