The MLBPA presented a counter proposal to the league over the weekend and the owners may be ready to respond quickly. ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the
league intends to respond to the players with a proposal that includes a shorter season but one that would also pay the players a full prorated share of their salaries. (SEE BELOW)
Major League Baseball intends to propose a shorter season in which they would pay players a full prorated share of their salaries, sources told ESPN. The league believes the late March agreement allows it to set the schedule, and that this would fulfill players’ pro rata desire.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 1, 2020
Per Passan, the league’s proposal would include a significantly shorter season of something in the neighborhood of 50 regular-season games although the exact number is still being considered. The aim would still be for the season to start in early July.
The potential season Major League Baseball envisions would run somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 regular-season games, sources told ESPN. The exact number is being considered, but the aim would be to return in July. It would be less than half of players’ proposed season length.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 1, 2020
A shorter season is something that MLB will continue to discuss with the union according to Passan but the league believes that the March agreement allows it to mandate a shorter season. Interesting that they didn’t initially think that the salary structure they agreed to with the players covered the idea of games being played in empty stadiums.
An important clarification to this news: MLB will continue discussing alternatives to the shorter season with players but believes that its March agreement with players allows it to mandate a shorter season and is prepared to use that option in the absence of a deal with MLBPA.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 1, 2020
While a short season may not please a lot of people, some baseball is better than no baseball. Hopefully this news is a sign of progress that both sides are finally ready to negotiate.
In case you are wondering why a shorter schedule would be appealing to the league. Owners are claiming that they will lose significant money for every game played. If the players insist on the March agreement of prorated salaries, then the league can counter that by shortening the season. Here is an example of what that would look like via The Athletic’s Jim Bowden.
An #MLB player making $20 million per year ….would make the following salary prorated based on the following game schedules:— Jim Bowden (@JimBowdenGM) June 1, 2020
162 games = $20m
114 games = $14.074m
82 games = $10.123m
If they were to agree to play less:
50 games = $6.17m
UPDATE - To clarify this earlier report, Passan now reports that the league does not intend to propose a 50 game schedule to the players but it has been considered as a last resort in the event the parties can’t come to a deal. The players’ proposed 114-game schedule would cover 70.3% of their original salaries. A 50-game schedule pro-rated would pay the players 30.8% of that number.