It’s been one week since Major League Baseball owners presented their plan to the players union to restart the game amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The big sticking point, of course, is money.
Owners want players to agree to a 50-50 revenue-sharing plan. Players want the owners to stick to their previous agreement to prorate salaries for the 2020 season.
According to the Associated Press, “Major League Baseball told players their prorated salaries would contribute to an average loss of $640,000 for each game over an 82-game season in empty ballparks.”
Facing that economic reality, the owners say a revenue-sharing plan with players is needed to limit the financial losses teams incur in 2020.
Per the AP, the Yankees stand to be baseball’s biggest losers.
The New York Yankees alone would have $312 million in local losses when calculating their earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. New York’s figure includes about $100 million in payments toward the bonds that financed new Yankee Stadium. The Los Angeles Dodgers were at $232 million in local losses, followed by the New York Mets at $214 million, Chicago Cubs at $199 million and Boston Red Sox at $188 million. ... The figures were calculated by MLB and its clubs, and the frequently skeptical union already has requested a slew of documents from MLB.
The players are afraid that agreeing to a revenue-sharing plan would be tantamount to baseball adopting a salary cap, which the MLB Players Association has long opposed.
In addition to the controversial move of cutting players’ salaries, the plan owners approved also calls for:
- • Teams to play in their home cities — and even use them for their spring trainings — so long as they’re not putting anybody at increased risk for the coronavirus.
• A season that could last about 82 games with interleague play based on geography (i.e. AL East vs. the NL East).
• 14 teams qualifying for the playoffs, doubling the wild-card spots in each league to four.
• Expanded rosters, jumping to approximately 30 players, with 20-man taxi squads.
• The use of a universal DH in 2020.
• The cancelation of the 2020 All-Star Game in Los Angeles.
On Saturday, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich reported on some of the proposed protocols MLB recommended to the players’ union. It includes: an aggressive plan to test (and retest) the players; limiting access to team facilities; rules players must follow on the field and in the dugout (including a ban on spitting and high fives).