NEW YORK – Major League Baseball rejected the players’ proposal for a 114-game schedule in the pandemic delayed season with no additional salary cuts, telling the union that teams have no reason to think 82 games are possible and will be even less now discuss.
Players made their proposal Sunday, five days after management’s initial economic plan. The opening day would be June 30 and the regular season would end on October 31, almost five weeks after the September 27 conclusion that MLB’s proposal stuck to the original schedule of the season.
Management has said it will discuss a schedule of around 50 games, which would lead to players receiving about 30% of their full salary under the pro-wages deal that the union agreed in March.
“You confirmed for us on Sunday that players are unanimous in their view that they will accept no less than 100% of their pro rata salary, and we have no choice but to accept that representation,” Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem wrote on Wednesday a letter to chief union negotiator Bruce Meyer obtained by The Associated Press.
“Based on that position, the views included in your counter-proposal, the significant health risk of extending the regular season beyond September and the fact that we missed our June 1 resumption deadline for spring training by June 10, we don’t have any reason to believe that a negotiated solution for a season of 82 games is possible, “Halem wrote.
“Nevertheless, the commissioner is committed to baseball in 2020,” added Halem. “He’s been talking to owners about a shorter season with no fans.”
He finished his letter by telling Meyer “we are ready to discuss any ideas you may have that could lead to an agreement on resuming the game without regular fan access in our stadiums.”
MLB will not play after October because it fears that a second wave of the coronavirus could disrupt the postseason and jeopardize $ 787 million in broadcast revenue. Halem got MLB advisor, Dr. Ali Khan, Dean of the College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska, at.
“It is not in the collective interest of clubs or players to start a 2020 season and then be forced to suspend or cancel it before the postseason ends,” Halem wrote. “Dr. Khan and his team have informed us that in order to minimize the risk of a later delay or cancellation of the 2020 season, we should endeavor to complete the season and the post season as early as possible in the fall …. In addition, your proposal ignores the reality of the weather in many parts of the country in the second half of October. If we plan a full range of games at the end of October, we will be plagued by cancellations. “
Teams and players hope to start the season in baseball fields with no fans, and teams claim they would incur huge losses if salaries are no longer cut. The parties agreed on March 26 a deal in which players accepted pro rata salaries in exchange for $ 170 million in advances and a guarantee that if the season is canceled each player will have 2020 service time corresponding to what the player built in 2019.
That deal called for “good faith” negotiations to play in empty stadiums or neutral locations. The union has said that no additional cuts are acceptable.
MLB’s proposal on May 26 would cut salaries for 2020 from about $ 4 billion to about $ 1.2 billion, excluding bonus signing, severance pay, or option buyouts. There would be a $ 200 million bonus if the postseason is completed.
The plan would deliver a sliding scale of reductions. Players with a minimum of $ 563,500 would receive about 47% of their original salary, and those at the top – led by Mike Trout and Gerrit Cole for $ 36 million – would receive less than 23%.
The union’s offerings would total about $ 2.8 billion, leaving each player with about 70% of their original salary.