According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich, MLB plans to present the Players’ Association with a choice of either taking their prorated salaries that were calculated in March or accepting team owners’ wish for a possible percentage-based cut in another way.
Additionally, some players are considering the option of deferring their salaries.https://t.co/62ZOTDCSqe
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Some players have been vocal about their discontent with the revenue-split plan, which they claim is, in effect, a salary cap. This includes 2018 Cy Young winner Blake Snell, who said he wouldn’t play under those conditions, and starter Trevor Bauer, who called MLB’s plans “laughable.”
Rosenthal/Drellich writes that deferring the 2020 salary might be the choice the union is most willing to accept. Meanwhile, some player agents are open to accepting pay reductions if the trade-off is financial protection for players this offseason, which some fear might otherwise be harsh for free agents and arbitration-eligible players.
Another point that could be up for negotiation is the length of the season. Rosenthal/Drellich state that because the players would like to play more games, this would also allow them to make more money by doing so. However, the league says unless players take another cut, it will lose money for every additional game. The eventual opening of parks to fans might improve the financial picture, but the pandemic makes such revenue uncertain. The league also prefers a shorter schedule to enhance the chances of playing the postseason when greater revenues are assured as the league receives a great deal of revenue from its broadcast partners.
With the proposed health protocols moving forward reasonably smoothly, the pace of these salary negotiations will be pivotal in determining whether baseball is indeed close to a start.
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