Another day, another proposal between the owners and the players. On Tuesday night the Major League Baseball Players Association sent a proposal to Major League Baseball for an 89-game season according to Jeff Passan of ESPN. Much like the previous proposal that had 114 games on the schedule from the players, this was deemed as a non-starter rather quickly.
Why was it a non-starter? Well, the players proposal would send the regular season into October, which the owners absolutely aren’t going to budge on. The stated reason is that they are worried about a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic cancelling the playoffs. But what might be the actual reason is that the television networks that have the rights for the playoffs do not want to move the dates for games.
And then, of course, there’s this tweet from The Wall Street Journal’s Jared Diamond:
The owners don't consider the union's proposal to be moving the ball even a little. "They are not trying," one person on the management side tells me.
— Jared Diamond (@jareddiamond) June 10, 2020
Let’s talk about “not trying” real quick. Major League Baseball has made three proposals over the last month to the players. Every single one of them has resulted in the exact same amount of money being offered to the players IF the playoffs were to be completed. The number of games were changed, but the total amount of money hasn’t.
The players have made two offers to Major League Baseball, and their proposals have been quick and they’ve been different. The players have stuck to the fact that they expect to be paid a prorated by games played salary – a deal both sides agreed upon in March, with renegotiation on that if the owners could show that it was not financially viable, which they haven’t been able to do. The first proposal by the players was for 114 games. That deal was turned down quickly – both for salary reasons and because it took the season through October before beginning playoffs. The deal on Tuesday was for 89 games.
Let’s look at what that means for the Cincinnati Reds, specifically: The difference between the salary paid to the Reds players over 89 games versus 114 games would result in $21,600,000 being saved in player salary. Let’s just call it $20,000,000 per team across the league (some will be more, some will be less), that’s the players taking a $600,000,000 hit versus their previous proposal. Even if it’s HALF that (I didn’t run the numbers for each team – it’s been a long day), how is that “not trying”, when the owners literally have just made the exact same offer to the players three times? One side is actually trying to negotiate and the other is doing something that NBC Sports Craig Calcaterra put it:
MLB: We'll give you 40 cents on the dollar
MLB: Well, then, how about a quarter, a dime and a nickel on the dollar?
MLB: How about this: four dimes. Deal?
Press: Both sides are blowing this! https://t.co/Hq9qTcuM7C
— Craig Calcaterra (@craigcalcaterra) June 9, 2020