Yesterday I wrote about how Tony Clark and the MLBPA might finally get the better of owners in a negotiation with their counterproposal of demanding more games to be played in a potential 2020 season. You can read that blog by clicking the link below:
In the blog, I said it's a much more nuanced discussion than "millionaires arguing with billionaires about money" and "players playing a game for millions of dollars when people all over the world are losing their jobs". That's what the owners want people talking about, yes, because the players are the ones facing the media and the people more than they are, so that can be used as some sort of leverage in negotiations.
What I didn't realize until tonight is that I was actually missing a key point in that blog. The rest of the media is missing this point as well, at least as far as I'm aware. I want to use this platform to educate people on the innards of this negotiation and will do so as much as possible. Here's what nobody is talking about:
There was an agreement between the owners/MLB and the MLBPA in place last march that was signed, sealed and delivered. Both parties agreed to a shortened season and both parties agreed to a reduction in pay for player salaries. Everybody knows this, but what the vast majority of people don't know and what nobody in the media is talking about is that all players on the 40 man roster got salary advances for the 2020 season. That advanced money would be put against any salary made if any games were to be played in 2020. Players without split contracts, (I.E. arbitration/free agent players), got $5,000/day forwarded them for 2 months work, or $300K total.
That pay advance was also a sliding scale, which makes sense. Mike Trout was advanced more than "Joe Smith" making league minimum. Here's an example:
"Joe Smith" (fake name) was due to make $1MM this year prior to the stoppage. Under the league's new proposal, he was due to make $434K, per Jeff Passan:
But he received that $300K advance. Take the $300K salary advance away from him, and that’s a ~$135K salary he's making this season. Then you add in union dues, agent commissions, taxes, and other shit and you’re looking at a sub $100K take home pay.
But a lot of the league also makes the ~$565K minimum. These players would be more like… $50-60,000 take home pay or so when using this same math, as they received scaled down advances.
I’d venture to guess that a lot of players would NOT agree to this. I'm of the opinion that they'd rather sit out 2020 and do it all again next year. At that low a salary, not sure it's worth risking injury or being BABIP'd to death for the arb guys or pending 2020-21 free agents in an 80ish game season.
I previously said that the players making league minimum would probably be willing to play more so than the higher paid free agents. After digging, not sure that's the case anymore. Maybe it is, but it's definitely to a smaller extent than previously noted.
This is something that NOBODY is talking about that everyone needs to take into account when they tweet Trevor Bauer to "shut up and play the GAME". That's why they're so hellbent on saying their March agreement is final.
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