Major League Baseball players union wants 100 games, full pro-rated salaries: reports


NEW YORK – Why stop at 82 games when you can get paid for 100.

The Major League Baseball Players Association will counter the league’s economic proposition this week with a schedule request that includes more than 100 games and a full pro-rated salary guarantee.

The last news, first reported by ESPN, came after national starter Max Scherzer, a member of the union’s eight-person executive subcommittee, posted on Twitter Wednesday night. Scherzer hinted that the union would not agree to further pay cuts after accepting pro-rated wages in March and that if the league provided documented proof of its financial burdens, its economic strategy would shift in favor of the union.

The league does not open its books to the public, making claims about a team’s winnings or losses difficult to verify.

“After discussing the latest developments with the rest of the players, there is no reason to engage with MLB in further pay cuts,” Scherzer said.

The union’s desire to block more than the 82 games offered by the league in the 2020 season, suspended by the coronavirus, could serve as a headache for MLB and its owners. The longer the schedule, the more likely it is that a potential second wave of coronavirus will void the playoffs, which would wipe out the league’s national television revenue. Gamers, however, would benefit from playing more games because of their current pro-rated salaries: more games means more income.

The league maintains that with no fans in the stands and no income tied to the gates, players need to cut wages further to play amid the coronavirus pandemic. The MLB on Tuesday proposed a degressive pay cut in addition to the pro-rated wages accepted by the players. The proposal, which sparked frustration and disappointment from the union, called for severe pay cuts for the highest paid players and manageable financial cuts for the lowest paid players.

Salaries were to range from $ 563,500 for major league players to $ 36 million for Angels outfielder Mike Trout and Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole. Under the March deal, the range would be reduced to about $ 285,000 to $ 18 million for the 82-game regular season offered by the MLB. According to the economic proposal made by the MLB this week, the range would be reduced to around $ 262,000 to $ 8 million, including the bonus shares that all players would receive if the playoffs were played.

“We have already negotiated the pro-rata version of wages, and there is no reason to accept a second pay cut based on the current information the union has received,” Scherzer said on Twitter. “I am happy to hear other players express the same point of view and I think the economic strategy of MLB would change completely if all the documentation became public.”

The union recently submitted requests for additional documents to the league seeking information on local and national television income, sponsorship income and team screenings, ESPN reported. The commissioner’s office and the union disagree on how much money the league would lose without the gates revenue.

MLB wants to start the season cut short in early July, with a three-week training period leading up to it. This means that the union and the league must aim to reach agreement on all financial and scheduling matters within the next week. If the league accepts more than 100 games, that could mean the World Series will be played after Thanksgiving.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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