MLB tells players they were never entitled to payment during pandemic

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Major League Baseball’s return to the game on Friday was accompanied by a scathing five-page letter questioning the union’s bargaining tactics, according to a copy obtained by Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic.The letter, written by Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem and addressed to union representative Bruce Meyer, details the league’s frustrations with MLBPA throughout the three months of negotiations.

“I must have misinterpreted your June 6 letter,” Halem says, opening the letter under the label “Dispute Resolution.”

“I thought the letter reflected the Association’s willingness to discuss in good faith the savings necessary for our Office to waive its right under the March Agreement to resume the 2020 season only when, among other things, there are no restrictions on fan access. After reviewing the Association’s counter-proposal, I am corrected.

Halem says the league opposes “the Association’s rhetoric that players “remain opposed to any further wage cuts,” adding that players were never allowed to be paid at all after President Donald Trump declared a national emergency, giving Commissioner Rob Manfred the right to suspend all contracts.

After months of negotiations, Meyer said last week that the union was “eç” by the league of “cynical axic (s) to deprive America of baseball games. The league has continued to offer pro-rata salary variations over different lengths of the season while players continue to demand pro-rata pay.

The rest of the league’s proposal outlines a plan for a 72-game season that would pay players 70% of their pro-rata salary and 80% if the postseason is played. The union has until Sunday to respond, although notable players have already taken to Twitter to indicate that the proposal will likely be rejected.

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