After a week that saw Major League Baseball owners reject a 114-game proposal by the players and say they would not be making another offer, those owners made another offer to the union on Monday, this one a 76-game proposal with further reductions in player pay.
For the most part, both sides remain entrenched in their respective sides. The players agreed to pro-rated pay back in March. The owners say they can’t afford that with no fans in the stands, but the players don’t believe them nor do they believe the owners have provided sufficient information to back up that claim.
There is potential for the players to earn more in this proposal than the owners’ previous 82-game offer, with a sliding scale of salary cuts. But the current offer requires the postseason to happen for those salaries to maximize at 75 percent of pro-rated pay. They get 50 percent of their pro-rated pay for the regular season.
From Ronald Blum at the Associated Press:
Teams estimate the new offer would guarantee $1.43 billion in compensation: $955 million in salaries, including an allowance for earned bonuses; $393 million if the postseason is played — half the broadcast revenue — for a 20% bonus for every player with a big league contract; $50 million for the regular season postseason pool normally funded with ticket money; and $34 million for the forgiven advances.
As pointed out by Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich at The Athletic, the guaranteed amount (without the postseason) is less than the sliding scale plan: “The league’s proposal Monday included a $989 million guarantee to players that was less than the $1.03 billion it offered in its initial 82-game proposal, prompting the union to consider it a worse offer and one agent to call it “a step backward.”
In total, this proposal maxes out at roughly $200 million more than the owners’ original 82-game prosposal. But it comes with more risk:
Besides the $$, MLB's proposal includes a revision to the Operations Manual that says players would have to sign an "acknowledgment of risk" before playing. Players believe it is designed to undermine their right to challenge MLB if it fails to provide a safe working environment.— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) June 8, 2020
We looked at Mike Trout’s salary under the sliding scale system, which would go from $36 million for a full season to just under $5.6 million for 82 games. Under this 76-game proposal, per Blum at AP, Trout would get $8.7 million for the regular season, and just under $12.2 million once the postseason bonuses are added in.
There are other aspects of this proposal, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post, including players keeping 20 percent of the $170 million aggregate advance in April and May; no qualifying offer for this offseason, so no draft pick loss for premium free agents; and potentially up to 16 teams in the postseason this year.
MLB reportedly asked the players for a response by Wednesday, so we could see some more action this week.
- Jeff Fletcher at the Orange County Register talked with Angels amateur scouting director Matt Swanson about preparing for this week’s MLB Draft with a scouting staff that has been decimated by furloughs.
- Fabian Ardaya and Britt Ghiroli at The Athletic profiled the how the Rocket City Trash Pandas, the Angels’ Double-A affiliate, is adapting during the coronavirus pandemic, including using its stadium for various uses while baseball is on hold.
- Nolan Ryan wasn’t drafted by the Angels, but he did pitch for them for eight years, so this piece remains relevant. Ryan is listed as a 12th rounder in the 1965 draft just about everywhere, but Jake Kaplan and Tim Britton at The Athletic explained how different the structure of that draft was, and that Ryan was probably a 10th-round pick but really it’s hard to pin down exactly when it happened.
- Sixty-four percent of epidemiologists surveyed by the New York Times said it would be at least a year before they expect to attend sporting events. “This is as much about feelings of social responsibility as about personal infection risk,” said Steve Mooney of the University of Washington. “Large-scale gatherings are a contact tracing nightmare and seem like they should be shut down until we have a really good sense of what’s safe/how to screen people.”