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MLB: League Makes New Offer to Players Union that Proves They Will Not Budge on Money



Here we are… Baseball’s most important week ever (version 4? 5?). The standstill, the impasse, the league has been going in circles with players and the union over this financial figure for weeks.

It seems to be boiling down to the fact that owners want to pay players a prorated salary set at about 33% of their original contracts. First, the latest proposal from the league.

Ok, that’s a lot to sort through and compare against previous offers. Thankfully Mike Axisa of CBS Sports did the heavy lifting with the math.

Yes, on paper it all looks better. The players get a win with the dropped draft pick compensation in free agency. The season length (76 games proposed) is closer to the half-season mark (81 games), but the now 75% prorated salary brings the financials right back to the same spot as the first proposal.

Imagine being told over and over again to take a huge pay cut to do the same work you signed up for?

The Athletic’s Andy McCullough nailed it with his tweet reading “you have to give credit to Major League Baseball for conceding from their initial offer of six of one to now offering half a dozen of the other.”

Where this deal gets worse is in the event that the playoffs cannot be played. Bill Shaikin of the LA Times wrote it this way.

But the owners’ proposal translates to the players getting 75% of prorated salaries, with a critical caveat: If the postseason is not completed for any reason — most likely a second wave of the coronavirus — the players would instead get 50% of prorated salaries. That would erase the collective $200 million gain.

I feel my friend Greg articulated well what I’ve been saying for the last week.

This is baseball telling their players that they don’t respect them. That they aren’t going to budge on money and they seem to not care whether there is a season or not… Baseball screwing things up again is just so typical…frustrating.

It’s the sad truth.

Club owners and players have been heading for this standoff for some time. The current Collective Bargaining Agreement failed the players. Now it appears that a good-faith, emergency agreement signed in March in the wake of a pandemic is being used against them even more.

Breaking it Down with Passan

ESPN’s Jeff Passan did his part to break out this latest proposal to a finer level to help understand where the game is at. The below tweet thread can be found here.

Here’s how to understand MLB’s current offer to the players as compared to its last offer and the possibility of a 48-game season.

Original offer: 82 games, players receive $1.03B in salary and $200M if playoffs are played. Current offer: 76 games, players receive $989M in salary and $443M if playoffs are played, plus no direct draft-pick compensation. 48-game option: $1.03B in salary, no playoff money.

The structure of the league’s last two offers are the same: a 50% cut on prorated salary, plus a playoff bonus. This one, bonus doubled, and with a $50M playoff pool to be distributed to players, it would take them in total to ~75% of prorated salaries if postseason is played.

Players see it like they’re getting less guaranteed, which they are. The expanded playoff pool adds higher potential upside, and the dropping of direct draft-pick compensation unquestionably helps some of the best free agents. But players have held firm on 100% prorated salaries.

Every day that goes by without an agreement, the length of the season drops. And after hearing from players already about this proposal, the prospect of a 48-game season is looking likelier. They’ve been asked to respond by Wednesday, according to sources.

One high-ranking official today said, in no uncertain terms: “There will be baseball.” The question is: Will it be with the sides agreeing to a deal or with the league implementing a 48-game schedule, no expanded playoffs and almost certainly a grievance filed by the union?

Final Thoughts

First of all, baseball is almost certainly heading toward a lockout. Even if one side caves and agrees to play in 2020, there will be a work stoppage once again ahead of the 2022 season. And it’s sad to see.

Secondly, unfortunately, this might be the best offer the players are going to get. More than likely the union will officially reject the proposal and come back asking for a 90-ish game season, which would shift some of the pressure off of the playoff shares. Additionally, they’ll likely have to concede on their demands for 100% pro-rata salaries and find a mark closer to 85% (likely even lower than that). But at some point, the players do need to offer some concession if they do actually want to play baseball this year.

Yes, the league and owners are the primary bad guys in this story, but if there’s no baseball in 2020, everyone looks like the villain. 

NEXT: It’s a Big Week Ahead for MLB, What Does a 50 Game Season Look Like for LA?

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

Comments

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  1. I don’t agree that this shows that the owners don’t respect the players. That is someone’s interpretation based on their perspective. It could also be seen as the ticket revenue is really, really important to the operating budgets of the owners.

  2. It is difficult to say that someone does not respect someone, especially it seems to me that this is not appropriate for those people who earn money from those people who, if they do not enter the field, will not receive any money. Therefore, if there is such a thing of course, this must be stopped, because for the frequent organizers the same athletes.

  3. Clint,

    Is there anything writers like you or fans like us can do to get these arrogant bastards to do their job and play baseball this season?

    The Dodgers have their strongest team yet, so I HATE to see it wasted.

  4. So sad! The owners are stupid, not realizing their short term goals will only jeopardize their own futures when the stadiums will be empty next season, and the next season and the next season, until baseball really become America’s past time; something in the history books.

  5. I’m really pissed at both, players and owners for being so stupid!!!! They’re obviously don’t care about us the fans that help to pay their salaries!!!!! Mookie Betts most likely will leave as a free agent since there’s nothing to hold him to the Dodgers and it that happens I will switch allegiances to the Angels!!!

    • You have 29 other teams to pick from and you choose the Angels? I hate to break it to you but you’re going to find even more to complain about with their FO. They never put together a pitching staff that can win enough games to make the playoffs. Just years and years of wasted offense

  6. The players don’t call it the show for nothing….Players get paid to perform in front of crowds. When the crowds disappear and the income get immensely cut, don’t expect to get full pay. The Boys of Summer have forgotten that and forgetting the ‘Show, must go on’…Now let’s play ball!

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