The players’ association proposal, which was sent electronically to Major League Baseball on Tuesday night without a negotiating session, was detailed to the Associated Press by a pair of people familiar with the negotiations. They spoke on condition of anonymity because no ads were allowed.
MLB does not appear to regard the proposal as productive, but has made no comments. The MLB has said that in the absence of an agreement, it could go ahead with a shorter schedule of perhaps 50 games.
Players made their choice a day after management reduced their proposed schedule from 82 games to 76. The union proposed the start of the regular season on July 10 and the end of October 11 – the day before a possible game 7 of the NBA Finals.
The union has agreed to the MLB plan to expand the post-season from 10 teams to 16. However, if management announces a schedule without agreement, it will not be able to change the established post-season format.
The players’ plan is for the World Series to end in mid-November to the end of November, and the players have stated that they will accept MLB’s offer to move post-season games to neutral sites.
The teams say they fear a second wave of coronavirus and do not wish to extend the World Series after October. Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem told the union that a 76 game schedule could only be arranged if the players agreed to an agreement by Wednesday.
Players continue to insist that salaries be prorated, as specified in the March 26 agreement between the parties to the ongoing dispute. The deal gave players time to serve in the event that a game is not played this year with a $ 170 million salary advance.
The MLB says that because the season is likely to be played on empty football pitches with no fans, the absence of gate-related revenue would result in the loss of $ 640,000 for each additional game played, a figure the union questioned. The MLB proposal would guarantee players 50% of prorated wages and an additional 20% if the post-season is over, and teams would fund a $ 50 million pool for players’ post-season shares even if none or few tickets or sold. MLB would also forgive 20% of the salary advance.
Players were expected to earn about $ 4 billion in wages this year before March 26 due to the new coronavirus, and the union’s original May 31 economic proposal called for a 114 game schedule until in October and wages totaling $ 2.8 billion. The shorter schedule for the new plan has lowered the amount to around $ 2.2 billion.
MLB’s offer on Monday was for just under $ 1.3 billion in wages, but only about $ 1 billion would be guaranteed. The rest depends on the completion of the post-season.
Mike Trout and Gerrit Cole, the highest paid players with $ 36 million in wages, would each receive $ 19,777,778 as part of the union plan. MLB’s offer would each guarantee $ 8,723,967 with the possibility of increasing to $ 12,190,633 each if the post-season is over.
A minimum player of $ 563,500 would earn $ 309,577 under the union plan and up to $ 244,492 from the MLB bid. Those at $ 1 million – about half of those on the current active lists – would receive $ 549,383 under the union’s proposal and up to $ 389,496 under the MLB formula.
A 50 game schedule with pro-rated wages would total just over $ 1.2 billion and leave Cole and Trout at $ 11,111,111 each.
The players proposed that $ 5 million from the union’s joint leadership funds be used to support non-unionized minor leagues and social causes. Players would agree to participate in events such as an off-season all-star game and / or a home run derby and broadcast improvements such as wearing microphones during matches.
The union did not accept management’s offer to suspend freelance agent pay this off-season, which would eliminate offers of qualification that prompt some teams to refuse to prosecute players.
Players have accepted MLB’s proposal that high-risk players could withdraw from this season while receiving salary and time, but that other players who withdraw would not receive salary or time service.