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MLB Owners Threaten Shortened Season

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MLB owners responded to the most recent players’ proposal on Monday, saying that they are ready to schedule a season that will play around 50 regular-season games while giving the players their full prorated salary. The league’s position was first reported by ESPN on Monday night, and the owners are not planning on presenting this to the players and their union. The response happened around 24 hours after the MLBPA proposed a 114 game schedule with full prorated salaries.

Where this stands is If owners do not want to pay the full pro-rated salaries, as they initially agreed to in March, nothing forces players to take an additional pay cut. If players do not agree to renegotiate, nothing forces the owners to start the season.

The owners believe that the current language of the March agreement allows them to start a season in the manner they propose, as they believe that they have a right to deliver a season schedule after “good faith” discussions between the league and the union.

The league contends that their proposal was based on having fans in the stands, something that does not appear to be happening, at least with 100% capacity, in the near future.

At odds in this, is, of course, money. After the owners state that the pandemic will cause financial difficulties, The union argues that the sport meets a reasonable standard of “economic feasibility” if the owners make more money by playing games than not, or just lose less money. Skeptical of MLB’s numbers, the union has requested more financial information in an attempt to verify the league’s claims.

Meanwhile, the union’s offer to defer $100 million in salaries with interest if the postseason is canceled did not make much of an impact with league officials, who say their teams do not want to pay the proposed interest on deferrals and take on additional debt.

Players have held out for a full prorated portion of their salaries, based on that March 26 agreement with the league. The players latest offer proposed a 114-game schedule that would cover 70.3% of their original salaries. A 50-game schedule with full prorated pay would provide the players 30.8% of that number.

What all of these means is that Major League baseball is staring down on a disaster that could last well beyond 2020.



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