I am not a betting man. But if I were, I would put some money down on there not being a baseball season in 2020. The owners of billion dollar organizations and the MLB Players Association are in a heated debate on how the season should not only continue but also be paid for. June 1st was supposed to be the line in the sand to strike a deal and unless they shake hands as I’m writing this, that deadline will be surpassed.
On May 26th, it was leaked (everything is leaked) by Bob Nightengale, Jon Heyman, Jeff Passan, and Jesse Rogers that MLB owners have made their proposition to the MLBPA and it’s a doozy. According to the report, the owners have come up with a sliding scale applied to salaries and sees the highest paid players receiving less than 40% of their salary ON TOP of the already agreed upon pro-rated plan. Other than that, not much else is known about the proposal such as service time implications and roster sizes. Right away, reports surfaced that the MLBPA was “disappointed” with players also calling it “disrespectful.” Nationals pitcher, Max Scherzer, voiced his, and pretty much 99% of the league’s, opinion on the proposal:
Fast-forward to today, May 31st, and the MLBPA “leaked” it’s own proposal and it completely ignores the former proposal from the MLB owners. The main points are:
- 114 games with the last regular season game ending on Oct 31
- Opt-out for all players if they don’t want to play
- Players considered “high-risk” will earn salary, all others will not.
- Expanded playoffs for 2020 and 2021 seasons
- $100 million of deferred money if playoffs are cancelled
- Would be paid in fall of 2021 and 2022
- Only apply to players normally making $10mil or more
Compared to what the owners’ proposed, these aren’t outrageous requests. The deferred postseason money plan is supposed to be seen as an olive branch of sorts since it’s the first mention of it so far. From a fan viewpoint, the two parties are nowhere close to a deal and time is running out. There was a report that the average baseball team will lose about 30% of it’s revenue if they are not allowed to have any fans in their ballparks. I, along with every baseball fan and the MLBPA, are very curious about the accuracy of those numbers and how it would really affect revenue. What about the TV deals? Merchandise sales?
It’s time for both the owners and MLBPA to cut the shit and figure it out. Stop the leaks, stop the greed, get a deal done.