The Major League Baseball Players Association countered the league with a proposal asking for a longer season and higher salaries for players.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported on the MLBPA’s 114-game proposal Sunday night, several weeks after the MLB presented the players with its proposal for an 82-game season in a year that has already been delayed months by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Many players vocally disagreed with the MLB’s proposal, leading to the MLBPA crafting an alternative — which Passan says will likely be immediately dismissed by league officials. According to Passan, the 114-game season would run from June 30 through Oct. 31. The extra 32 games could be costly, as the MLB has said that there would be an average loss of $640,000 for each extra game that is played without fans in attendance.
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The AP reported that the plan, which would extend the postseason an extra month, was outlined to MLB officials during a contentious 80-minute digital meeting.
The players and the league are divided over compensation. According to The Associated Press, MLB’s proposal included pay cuts that would lower 2020 player salaries from about $4 billion to $1.2 billion. The MLBPA is seeking players’ full prorated salaries, which would equal about $2.8 billion — about 70 percent of each player’s salary. Early in the shutdown, the players and league agreed to prorated salaries.
The MLBPA proposal did include the option to defer payments if the postseason is canceled, a nod to the pandemic and the monetary issues this could bring to the league. According to the MLB, players would get about 89 percent of revenue from the 82-game schedule.
The MLB has created a preliminary health-and-safety protocol that would allow players to opt out of the season if they or their family members are susceptible to COVID-19. The MLBPA countered by asking that high-risk players receive their salary even if they choose to opt out of the season, while players not deemed high risk could opt out but not receive their salary.
According to Passan, the MLBPA proposal also included expanded playoffs from 10 teams to 14 teams for two years; a salary advance of $100 million to split among players during the second “spring training”; allowing players to wear more microphones during games; and holding offseason events like a home run derby in order to generate revenue.