Should the MLB players union agree to a pay cut for the 2020 season?
“Players right now have already agreed to a pay cut,” said Cubs outfielder Ian Happ Tuesday on ESPN’s “Waddle and Silvy," when asked if the players expect to compromise with league owners on further salary concessions.
Happ, the Cubs assistant MLBPA representative, is speaking of the agreement players made with MLB owners in March to receive prorated salaries this season.
“We’re taking pay as the number of games that we play this year,” he said.
The owners and players hit the negotiating table Tuesday to discuss MLB’s proposal to restart the 2020 season. That plan entails a 50-50 revenue split between owners and players, as MLB believes it will lose more money playing games without fans and paying prorated salaries than if they don’t play at all.
MLB’s position is that it will lose more money if they play games without fans and pay prorated salaries than if they don’t play at all. Thus, owners are saying they will not pay pro-rated salaries.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) May 13, 2020
Tuesday's negotiations didn't include an economic proposal, according to The Athletic's Evan Drellich.
Revenues will take a hit in 2020 because the coronavirus will cut a chunk of games off the schedule and eliminate the presence of paying fans in the stands. However, MLBPA union chief Tony Clark recently told The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal a revenue split is a “non-starter” in negotiations, citing his belief owners are attempting to institute a salary cap.
Owners and players fighting over money during a global pandemic would be a horrible look for baseball at a time where tens of thousands have died from the virus and millions have lost their jobs. MLB playing some semblance of a season would offer the world a sense of normalcy, which Happ noted.
“Players understand that we want to get back on the field, and I think that for our country and for all the fans out there, that’s our main goal — is to get back,” he said.
However, baseball’s return poses a risk to the health of everyone involved, from players to coaches to trainers to owners to media to stadium workers. Look no further than Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle's Twitter timeline to understand player concerns over returning to action.
Although it could behoove either side to make a compromise, Happ's comments show the players remain firm in their stance.
"But we've already come to one agreement," Happ said. "We're excited to see what the proposal is and see what our best solution is moving forward for baseball this year."Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Cubs easily on your device.