MLB Owners Offer Another Proposal, Pay Cut

As more time goes on, it appears like the 2020 MLB season won’t be taking place. This coming after the league’s owners’ latest proposal – a 76-game season with the players getting a 75 percent prorated salary.

Although this is yet another attempt to finally have a baseball season, many feel like the owners are basically mocking the players with the offers. Any way that you shake it out, the owners are expecting the players to only take 75 percent of their salaries.

This comes in many forms, whether it was a 50-game, 76-game or 82-game season. MLB previously offered a “sliding scale” proposal and reportedly would pay prorated salaries in a 50-game season.

MLB previously said no to a 114-game season and expanded postseason proposal by the MLB Players Association. At the time, the league wasn’t expected to make a counteroffer to that proposal, but it’s clear that both sides are still trying at the least – even if the attempts from owners are very weak.

According to Evan Drellich of The Athletic, the players union feels like the league’s latest offer is a joke compared to the previous ones.

“The MLBPA regards today’s offer from MLB to be worse than the league’s last because it shifts greater emphasis on risk-sharing in the postseason,” said Drellich on Twitter. “Players would receive 50 percent of pro-rata if there is no postseason, 75 if there is.”

According to ESPN’s Karl Ravech, this latest 76-game season proposal would end on Sept. 27, with the postseason ending just before November.

Players Reaction

The MLBPA has a firm hold on its stance of being paid based on the number of games being played in 2020. Both sides agreed to this back in March, but the league has been pushing for players to take a pay cut since the games will be played without fans in the stands.

Washington Nationals pitcher Sean Doolittle, who has been very vocal about the league’s proposals, was asked how likely Monday’s proposal would draw things closer to having an MLB season.

“I wouldn’t want to put a number on it, but in general, at least it’s a sign that the owners are still negotiating rather than becoming entrenched in the idea of implementing a mini-season,” said Doolittle. “But the miasmic aspect of the talks could make this little sprout of an olive branch pretty much meaningless.”

In addition, Doolittle was asked about what the best points from Monday’s proposal were:

“The pro-rata drop from 75 percent to 50 percent is severe, even if you buy into the revenue portrait that notion paints, which is that so much of the remaining revenue potential from the season is dependent upon starting a postseason.

“If the 75 percent were guaranteed, my very quick scribbling suggests that players would be getting roughly 35 percent of their original salaries for a 76-game slate. The 50-game proposal at full pro-rata would have been around 31 percent.

“This much is clear: If the playoffs were canceled and the pro-rata distribution dropped to 50 percent then the payout to players ends up at pretty much what the 50-game proposal would have paid. So why would the players agree to the risk of playing the extra 26 games?”

Amid this hiatus, a couple of offshore sportsbooks put odds on different dates for when MLB could possibly begin its regular season. Bettors that had “baseball not returning this season” for around +150 are looking like they might win that bet now.

Rebecca Kont
Rebecca Kont

Rebecca lives in Las Vegas and after completing her degree at Reynolds Journalism school joined the USGS team to pursue her journalism dreams.