MLBPA Proposes Extended Season Finish

By Ben Hamill - June 03 2020
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MLBPA Proposes Extended Season Finish

The Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) on Sunday rejected the league’s proposal involving players taking additional pay cuts necessitated by an extended period of inactivity that resulted from worldwide public health concerns. Instead, the association proposed a counteroffer comprising of a 114-game season, which would mean quite a few games more than the initial 82 suggested by MLB administrators.

What MLB owners had initially suggested involved 82 regular season games played, along with pay cuts by as high a percentage as 80% a piece. When applied in practice, this would mean that a player who previously banked on a salary of $35 million per year, will according to MLB management’s now-rejected offer only be earning around $7.8 million for the proposed number of games played. 

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League Fears Second Wave

But there exist more ramifications than what can be measured in monetary value. If the MLBPA’s counteroffer were to be accepted in its current format, a return-season would last nearly 5 weeks longer than the original September 27 conclusion date. This means that the upcoming World Series could very well extend to the other side of Thanksgiving.

Even so, the extended 114-game season will leave players with precious little room for maneuvering and even less room for taking even as many as just a few days off. The counterproposal on the part of the MLBPA does carry a definite measure of external risk when considering ongoing fears of a second wave of infectivity. 

The counterproposal was lodged with MLB management during what an insider has described as a “contentious” virtual meeting among MLB head of union Tony Clark, union head of negotiations Bruce Meyer, Commissioner Rob Manfred and deputy commissioner Dan Halem.

The Numbers Don’t Add Up

The players’ union has in the meantime gone so far as to question the MLB’s accounting. According to the league’s calculations, entire clubs would only lose as much as $640,000 for each additional game played. But when compared with anticipated individual losses, the numbers simply do not add up.

The union has furthermore proposed that players should have the right to opt for an exit out of the regular season. Additional proposals include those players qualifying as at a high-risk from a public health point of view being at liberty to opt out, along with those players residing with non-player high-risk persons.

Qualifying persons should according to the union’s counterproposal receive their usual salaries, as opposed to non-qualifying players receiving no salary at all but major league service time.

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