Major League Baseball players are anything but happy after receiving the league’s return-to-play proposal. That’s no surprise, considering the likes of Mike Trout, who would be making $37.5 million under normal circumstances and about $19 million according to a prorated salary under an 82-game schedule, would have his pay cut to less than $6 million for the 2020 season.
While the highest-paid players in the MLB would be hit hardest by the league’s proposed financial plan, even the lowest-paid players would see their pay cut.
According to reports, phone conversations between players over the past day or two have resulted in a general sentiment that the MLB’s proposal will be ignored by the players, who are expected to offer up a proposal of their own.
As one of eight players on the MLB Players Association’s executive committee, Washington ace Max Scherzer’s voice carries significant weight among players. According to Scherzer, the league’s proposal has no chance of being accepted.
“After discussing the latest developments with the rest of the players, there’s no need to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions,” Scherzer said via Twitter. “We have previously negotiated a pay cut in the version of prorated salaries, and there’s no justification to accept a second pay cut based upon the current information the union has received.
“I’m glad to hear other players voicing the same viewpoint and believe MLB’s economic strategy would completely change if all documentation were to become public information.”
Players To Counter With 100-Game Proposal
Under the league’s current proposal, the 2020 regular season would be made up of an 82-game schedule. Due to revenue lost from playing at least a significant stretch of the season in empty stadiums, the league is asking players to take a significant pay cut on top of their already prorated salaries.
In response, the MLBPA is expected to offer a counter-proposal that includes a regular-season schedule of more than 100 games and full prorated salaries.
As of right now, that lengthened season is little more than a bargaining chip to be used by the players, as the league is highly unlikely to agree to extend the season beyond 82 games. Due to fears of a second wave of the coronavirus wiping out vital postseason television money, MLB is eager to keep the regular season halved.
The league and players agreed to prorated salaries back in March when the league was forced to delay its start due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, that agreement is being viewed through two very different lenses.
While the league is saying that agreement for prorated salaries included language that calls for good-faith negotiations in the event the season is to be played without fans in attendance, the players are currently holding firm that said agreement ensures full prorated salaries.
Trout Currently Heavy Favorite To Win AL MVP
Despite the prospect of having his salary cut down from $37.5 million to $19 million under prorated terms, and now less than $6 million under the league’s proposal, Trout is the odds-on favorite to win the American League MVP Award.
At +140, Trout is well ahead of a slew of players giving chase, including Aaron Judge (+1200), Francisco Lindor (+1200), Alex Bregman (+1500), and Anthony Rendon (+1600).
In the National League, the MVP race features a few familiar faces alongside one noticeable addition. After moving from the Red Sox to the Dodgers, Mookie Betts is the current favorite to win NL MVP with odds of +600.
The NL MVP race is expected to be much tighter, with Christian Yelich (+700), Cody Bellinger (+800), Ronald Acuna Jr. (+900), and Juan Soto (+900) all sitting on favorable odds.