MLBPA’s Proposal Has Room For Owners’ Compromise
One of the bigger stories over the weekend was Major League Baseball Players Association submitted their proposal. After some thought the players would not include a proposal, they did just that on Sunday night. The proposal itself has some good parts to it. It is not completely pro-players, but it does not entirely favor the owners. Let’s try to figure out where there could be some compromise and get a deal done. It does seem that a deal has to happen this week or we’re not having baseball this summer. Here are some of the highlights of the deal.
Players want a 114-game season ending October 31st – The reason the players want a longer season is to spread out the days off. They do not want to cram in an 82 game season in three months. They would rather spread it over four months instead. Owners do not like that as all their postseason money kicks in on October 1st. The compromise here seems like ending the season around mid-October, say the 18th. And then the TV deals do not have to be reworked. Further, postseason games can likely happen at home ballparks for the first round that way.
The players want prorated salaries but include deferrals – MLB players moved to 70 percent versus the 51 percent proposed. This is not the true prorated salary of the past March. Maybe the owners try to move it to 66 percent or something like that, but who knows. There is a chance that fans could be back in the stands by August or September if the data keeps trending in the right direction. That might be the biggest wild card in this whole thing. The 100 million dollars in deferrals are for a canceled postseason or a shortened season. That’s a good chip.
Players want the ability to opt-out of the season if it’s too dangerous – This is one part that I think the owners will get on board with. This is player-friendly, and while this could mean losing a star like Anthony Rizzo, it is a risk they should be willing to take especially if there are no fans for the majority of the season.
MLBPA offers two years of expanded postseasons – Again, this is a part of the deal that most owners will get down with. Owners pushed for this as well. It will help make up the lost revenue of this season. There is likely not a compromise needed in this category.
Things are not perfect with the MLBPA’s proposal but there is enough there to find compromises.