After reports surfaced that some MLB owners would be willing to cancel the entire 2020 season, it seems the league is back at the negotiating table with a potential new proposal to start the postponed season.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the new proposal would be a season that starts in July, have “somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 regular-season games,” and would pay players a full prorated share of their 2020 salary.

The “50 regular-season games” part is the likely sticking point for the players. Because it’s such a short season, the players won’t be paid as much. That’s why the MLBPA recently proposed a 114-game season. Players are cool with prorated salaries but only getting paid for 50 games as a result is a steep drop.

On the other hand, owners claim that a 114-game season at a fully prorated structure would hurt their revenue streams. They proposed additional salary cuts, but it caused a very vocal opposition among players that they wanted to see team financial info, something owners weren’t willing to do.

To put this in simpler terms, here are the salary figures that certain players stand to make in each system, with a bit of help from Passan in getting those numbers.

Lower paid rookie
Full season: $563,500
Prorated 82-game season: $285k
MLB’s previous proposal: $262k
Prorated 114-game season (MLBPA’s last proposal): $397k
Prorated 50-game season (MLB’s expected proposal to players): $174k

All-Star player
Full season: $10 million
Prorated 82-game season: $5.06 million
MLB’s previous proposal: $2.95 million
Prorated 114-game season (MLBPA’s last proposal): $7.04 million
Prorated 50-game season (MLB’s expected proposal to players): $3.09 million

Highest paid (Mike Trout)
Full season: $35 million
Prorated 82-game season: $17.7 million
MLB’s previous proposal: $7.84 million
Prorated 114-game season (MLBPA’s last proposal): $24.63 million
Prorated 50-game season (MLB’s expected proposal to players): $10.8 million

As you can see, there’s a lot of wiggle room between what players would be paid for a 50-game season compared to a 114-game season. And a 50-game season at a prorated salary isn’t that much of an improvement over MLB’s previous proposal. In fact, lower-paid players would stand to lose about a third of their salary compared to the additional salary cut proposal.

Whether they want to admit it or not, both sides should know that they need to come up with a solution. Players don’t want to go a full year with no pay, and owners don’t want to go without the revenue they would receive even with a shortened season without fans.

Maybe now that both sides are reportedly cool with just prorating salaries, it now becomes a negotiation of how long the season will be. But don’t expect too many fans to be clamoring for a 50-game season.

[ESPN]

About Phillip Bupp

News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing, highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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