By Field Level Media-Reuters
Major League Baseball presented its players union with a revised economic plan for the yet-to-start 2020 season on Tuesday, proposing a sliding-scale of pay cuts, with the top-paid stars due to take the biggest hits.
The outline was met with immediate resistance from the MLB Players Association, multiple media outlets reported.
According to USA Today, the MLBPA views the proposed cuts as being “massive.”
The teams did back off their proposal for revenue sharing, which the union feared could be a step toward a salary cap.
The latest proposal is MLB’s attempt to revise the year’s finances based on shifting realities amid the coronavirus pandemic, which caused spring training to shut down in mid-March and has led to Opening Day being postponed indefinitely.
In late March, the union agreed to a deal to have players paid on a prorated basis depending upon how many games are completed this year. However, that was with the assumption that fans would be in the stands.
With sports, including baseball, now looking at the likelihood of a resumption behind closed doors, MLB’s economic model was greatly impacted.
The result was the proposal made Tuesday. The players with the highest salaries could be facing a pay cut of more than 60 percent, according to ESPN, with USA Today putting the top reduction at “perhaps as much as 75 percent.”
Players making the league minimum of $563,500 would have the smallest percentage pay cut.
The game’s top-paid players, Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout and New York Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole, could see their 2020 salaries sliced from $36 million to around $8 million, according to ESPN.
MLB wrote in a statement, “We made a proposal to the union that is completely consistent with the economic realities facing our sport. We look forward to a responsive proposal from the MLBPA.”
Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Brett Anderson tweeted, “Interesting strategy of making the best most marketable players potentially look like the bad guys.”
ESPN provided a comparison of player salaries on a prorated basis for an 82-game schedule vs. the owners’ new proposal.
A player with the minimum salary would have received $285,000 on a prorated basis for 82 games but would get $262,000 under MLB’s new plan.
Other figures, with 82-game prorated salary versus the salary under MLB’s proposal, per ESPN:
- $1.01 million vs. $736,000
- $5.06 million vs. $2.64 million
- $10.1 million vs. $5.15 million
- $15.2 million vs. $6.95 million
- $17.7 million vs. $7.84 million