MLBPA Counters MLB’s Decision To Cut Games, Salaries
Aside from return-to-play protocols, one of the most pressing issues MLB faces today involves the player salary distribution. The MLB and MLB Players Association (MLBPA) are yet to come to an agreement as both parties demand different salary schemes.
The MLB remains in a tight negotiating window with its players regarding the format of the season and the salary scale. Here’s a brief timeline of events for reference:
May 26: MLB proposed an 82-game season with a sliding salary scale. Dubbed as the ‘May 26 agreement’.
May 31: MLBPA proposed a 114-game season with full prorated salary and possible deferrals.
June 1: MLB confirmed its willingness to pay full prorated salaries, but only for a 48-54 game season.
June 8: MLB proposed a 76-game season with a 75 percent prorated salary.
June 9: MLBPA proposed an 89-game season with a full prorated salary.
Out of all the options on the table, the two parties haven’t agreed on anything yet. The union executive director Tony Clark even called out the MLB on its firm decision for player salary cuts:
“Among other things, players proposed more games, two years of expanded playoffs, salary deferrals in the event of a 2020 playoff cancellation, and the exploration of additional jewel events and broadcast enhancements aimed at creatively bringing our Players to the fans while simultaneously increasing the value of our product. Rather than engage, the league replied it will shorten the season unless Players agree to further salary reductions.”
The current option on the table, the 89-game season with a full prorated salary proposal, was submitted by the MLBPA to the MLB without a negotiation session. The players’ union acted swiftly after the league cut its proposed schedule from 82 games to 76. The union firmly insisted that the regular season should start on July 10 and end on October 11 with the considerations they’ve given. They recently accepted MLB’s plan to expand the postseason from 10 teams to 16 teams.
Although there’s no decision yet, the MLB allowed high-risk players to opt-out of the season. They can still receive salaries and get their service time without conditions. Players who will voluntarily opt-out, however, won’t receive the same treatment.