In lieu of more pay cuts, players have proposed an extended season.
Major League Baseball players in a complicated position, thanks to the pandemic. Nobody’s coming to stadiums to watch them play, and it hasn’t even been deemed entirely safe for the players themselves. In order to keep the flow of money stable between players, team owners, venues, and probably a few other parties I’m not thinking of, team owners have been enacting multiple cuts on player salary. Last Tuesday, the League proposed a further pay cut on 2020 salaries from $4 billion to $1.2 billion. The players’ union decided they weren’t satisfied with that, and came up with an alternate route.
Instead of playing an 82-game season at a $1.2 billion, the union proposed an increased 114-game season at $2.8 billion, an anonymous person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. Assuming the new season opens on June 30, the increased number of games would carry the World Series past Thanksgiving. The union offered flexibility in scheduling, proposing an increase on double-header games. This would limit the players’ time off, but ensure they receive higher compensation. With this proposal, the postseason would also be extended approximately a month past its usual end.
However, while the league was not overtly opposed to this plan, they did have one major sticking point. Current medical projections suggest that while coronavirus cases are dwindling right now, there could be a major resurgence in the fall, right on top of the postseason. In the event this occurs, the union has offered to deffer $100 million in player salary with interest until November 2021 and 2022.
A deal has yet to be set in stone, but to sweeten the pot, the union has also offered to have players participate in TV-friendly events like All-Star games, home-run derbies, and out-of-stadium talk shows. Of course, all players will have the option to opt out of the season under the union’s plan, though only those determined to be in high-risk situations will receive salary.