The stakes are high Friday, as Major League Baseball responds to the players association’s latest counterproposal.
On Friday afternoon, the owners proposed a 72-game season, according to multiple reports, with players receiving at least 80 percent of their already prorated salaries if there is a postseason. If the postseason is cancelled, USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported, players would receive 70 percent of their prorated salaries. The owners’ last offer was for a 76-game season with 75 percent of prorated salaries. The cost to the owners remained similar between their two most recent proposals.
Sources tell me MLB counter proposal today will move towards a season of roughly 70 plus games with a salary percentage on the 80-85 percent of pro rata. Playoff pool bonus. My concern are the recent spikes in COVID -19. Worst case would be to start and stop. Will players move?— Karl Ravech (@karlravechespn) June 12, 2020
MLB asked the players association to respond by Sunday, according to multiple reports. The MLBPA has consistently called for 100 percent of players' prorated salaries. Nightengale reported that players are expected to reject the owners' latest proposal before the deadline.
The threat of a 50-game looms in the background. Nightengale reported earlier this week that MLB commissioner Rob Manfred is expected to implement a shortened season if an agreement isn’t reached by next week. The March agreement reportedly gives Manfred the power to do so, with the players receiving full prorated salaries.
"We're going to play baseball in 2020, 100 percent" Manfred said on MLB Network this week. "If it has to be under the March 26 agreement, if we get to that point in the calendar, so be it. But one way or the other we're playing Major League Baseball."
Under the owners' latest proposal, The Athetic's Evan Drellich reported, players could make about $300 million more than they could under a 48-game season with full prorated pay. But that only holds true if they are able to play the full postseason schedule. A second wave of COVID-19 could eliminate that possibility, explaining the players association's aversion to their earnings being tied to the postseason.