SportsPulse: Mackenzie Salmon spoke with former NBPA executive director Charles Grantham about the possible obstacles that the MLB and its players may face when trying to return to action.
PHOENIX – Major League Baseball abandoned a revenue sharing plan and instead introduced an unfair compensation scale at the Major League Baseball Players Association on Tuesday afternoon, the first time the two sides had formally discussed economic issues in an attempt to open the pandemic. it shortened the season until the weekend of July 4th.
The plan, three people with knowledge of the proposal told USA TODAY Sports, proposes to pay players a proportional percentage of their salaries, with players making the most of the biggest pay cuts. The three people spoke only on the condition of anonymity, because negotiations are underway.
Younger players who earn less money would receive most of their guaranteed wages. The proposal also includes a variable pay scale that guarantees players a percentage of their wages at different intervals of the season, during the post-season.
Owners are concerned that the postseason, when they generate the highest revenue from TV rights fees, will be eliminated if the country is hit by a second wave of coronavirus in October or November.
The players agreed on March 26 to be paid proportionately, but the owners are looking for a new deal with revenues that are expected to be significantly short as a result of the 82-game and postseason season that is likely to be played without fans in the stands. Players would receive cut wages of more than 50% and perhaps even 75% for the highest paid players in the game.
The union sees wage cuts as massive, and the initial reaction was not positive.
"Interesting strategy to make the best marketable player look like the bad guys," tweeted Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Brett Anderson.
MLB adhered to the union's request to suspend its proposed 50-50 revenue sharing plan. The union was concerned that revenue sharing would lead to the introduction of a salary cap in future negotiations, although cautious about further wage cuts, including the possibility of a percentage of its wages deposited in guarantee.
There is a concern among several agents that the new proposal may create a division between the rankings, but there will certainly be changes, commitments and much discussion with all participants during these negotiations.
The owners insist that it is necessary for players to further reduce their salary, as they will lose money during the regular season without the presence of fans. However, owners would also be guaranteed $ 777 million in post-season TV revenue, which would be inflated by about $ 1 billion with the post-season format expanded to 14 teams, instead of 10. Owners discussed sharing some of the money with the players.
There is no deadline for negotiations to be completed, but the two sides will likely need to reach an agreement around June 6 for the season to begin on July 4. Players and teams of coaches need time to report for the resumption of spring training, which would last three weeks at a team's home stadium or spring training location in Florida or Arizona.
Follow Nightengale on Twitter: @Bnightengale
Last SlideNext Slide