MLB’s new proposal to the players for restarting the season includes a 76-game season and a playoff bonus pool.
MLB owners have sent their proposal to the players’ union in the latest attempt to restart baseball season. Karl Ravech was the first to break the news, and his ESPN colleague Jeff Passan tweeted a thread which explains everything in layman’s terms.
MLB has made proposal to Players. 75 percent Prorated salary. 76 game season. Playoff pool money. No draft pick compensation for signing player. Season finishes September 27th. Post season ends at end of October. Significant move towards players demands and effort to play more.
— Karl Ravech (@karlravechespn) June 8, 2020
THREAD: 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.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 8, 2020
If accepted, players would have a 76-game season, 75% of prorated salaries for such, and a $50 million playoff money pool if the postseason is played. This is somewhere in the middle of two proposals. Last week, the owners proposed a 46-50 game season with players receiving full prorated salaries, but no playoff money. The MLBPA, meanwhile, spoke of playing upwards of 100 games.
I hate to say it, baseball fans, but this is the first time throughout the pandemic that I’ve doubted if there will even be a memorable season in 2020. The owners are, more or less, claiming poverty while asking players to assume serious risks to their health. And all because fans won’t be attending games this year.
On top of that, Mike Axisa of CBS Sports pointed out how the new proposal isn’t really any different from the others.
– 82 games at sliding scale = ~33% salary
– 50 games at prorated pay = ~33% salary
– 76 games at 75% prorated pay = (drumroll) ~33% salary
It all comes back to the same place. MLB keeps making the same offer in different forms. https://t.co/DVfURfN50f
— Mike Axisa (@mikeaxisa) June 8, 2020
And there are even more complications. Jorge Castillo of The Los Angeles Times reported the proposal also asks players to sign an “acknowledgment of risk” before taking the field. You read that correctly, ladies and gentlemen. To protect itself against players getting sick now or during a potential second wave of the virus, MLB is asking players to literally sign a waiver.
All that being said, this is going to play out in one of two ways. This offer is about as close as both sides have come to any middle ground. Given we’re almost at mid-June now and the season would start July 10, the negotiating window is tight. No one wants to hear it, especially how the owners are fully to blame for where we are now, but the union might need to start thinking about compromise.
Otherwise, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred can unilaterally establish the condensed season. As Axisa notes above, this means no playoff money for the players. And with the current CBA expiring in 18 months? This would be a major blow to good-faith labor negotiations in the future, and all trust between both sides could be lost.
One way or another, there’s going to be baseball this year. It just isn’t going to be anything close to what we as fans, journalists, and more know it as.
And when the dust settles on the 2020 season, all everyone will do is look back on negotiations and wonder how anything could have gone differently.