Ever since the initial MLB proposal was leaked to the public, there's be legitimate pessimism a deal would get done between the owners and players union. To catch you up real quick, the players agreed in late March to take pro-rated salaries this year if a shortened season happened. At the time of that deal, having zero fans in the stands all year was not something being talked about since we were still in the early stages of understanding the coronavirus. Now with that becoming a reality the owners want a second pay-cut to the players' salaries with their revenues taking a huge hit without fans. The owners offered a 50/50 revenue split to counteract the second pay-cut, but that reportedly was a non-starter on the union's side. Why should the players take a second pay cut while they're going to be the guys on the field?
With limited time to make a deal it became a real scenario that money would prevent Major League Baseball from being the first of the four major sports back in our lives. The health side obviously has to come first before anything. It seems like the two sides spent all of last week figuring out what will work and what won't in terms of the proposed protocols. Padres MLBPA player rep Austin Hedges "reported" last week the two sides were making real progress on the health side and that he was 'very confident' baseball would happen.
Well we now have positivity on the money side that we ever so desperately need to hear.
According to a source with knowledge of the situation, the league will make a proposal to the players' union Tuesday that will be a compromise from the 50-50 revenue sharing split that had been floated earlier this month. This could serve as a starting point in negotiations from MLB’s side.
Meanwhile, the union is expected to propose a plan that allows players to receive their prorated salaries based on the number of games played, which was part of an agreement between the two sides finalized March 26. But a certain amount of money would be deferred to future years to help reduce the owners' expenses for the 2020 season.
These, according to a source, would likely be the general starting points in negotiations, a clear signal that both sides are willing to move closer to one another in the hope they can come to an agreement that allows for a return to play.
As much negativity that's been going on, I've been holding out hope that we have baseball this year. There's simply too much to gain and way too much to lose here. If money ended up being the reason there was no season the ramifications would be horrible. We're talking '94 strike bad. It took a decade and the super popular steroid era to get fans back on baseball's side after the strike. Imagine if the NHL, NBA, and NFL have games played in 2020 but baseball couldn't because billionaires and millionaires couldn't figure out how to make it work? We're talking a potential catastrophe on our hands that cannot happen. Who even knows what the climate of the CBA negotiations next year would be like if we have a lost year now with players getting zero dollars and owners taking a huge loss. Could we be looking at no baseball until 2022? Nope, I won't let it be spoken into existence. A deal has to get done.
I think both sides agree that this needs to happen and that's why we're looking at a compromise with money. Compromise is the onl world I've been looking for since the initial 50/50 split came out. The players are still looking for their pro-rated salaries that they agreed to on March 26th, but are willing to defer that money to future years so the financial hit isn't as big on the owners right now. Taking a page out of the Nationals' book where they pretty much defer every player contract they sign and worry about it down the road. The league has their own compromise coming on Tuesday. The good news is that both sides are willing to make this work and aren't in a stalemate waiting for the other to flinch first.
I now believe as long as the health side is sorted out, we're going to have baseball in 2020. If you're like KFC and can't fathom baseball being played under normal conditions then please continue to watch Netflix and good luck to you. Tim Kurkjian said this on ESPN a few weeks ago and it's stayed with me since, "Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good." We need Major League Baseball back and I think it's coming. There's limited time here as I type this on May 24th so a deal has to likely happen this upcoming week. I think it gets done.