Unsurprisingly, the MLBPA was not interested in the league's first proposal involving a sliding scale of pay, hating it so much that it didn't feel a counter-proposal based on that format was even necessary.
Nationals ace Max Scherzer, who is on the union's eight-man subcommittee, released this statement Wednesday night.
The players plan to counter with a schedule that includes more than 100 games as opposed to 82. The Athletic reported it could be as many as 110 games.
Why would the players counter with this? Because even without fans in the stands, more games means more money for players and owners via local and national television deals. The players must feel they have a better chance at reaching a compromise with owners for a greater percentage of prorated pay if there are 30 or so additional games.
The next question would be whether a 110-game schedule would even be possible if it begins July 4. And even that July 4 potential start date seems optimistic because it would have to be preceded by 2-3 weeks of spring training and we're already at May 28 with no clear end in sight to these negotiations. Each day without a resolution could push things back.
If the season does begin on July 4, and every team played every day without an off-day (unrealistic), a 110-game regular season would wrap up on Oct. 10. The 14-team playoff format would extend the postseason, which we could see end in mid-to-late November.
That's without off-days but it's also without doubleheaders, which could cancel out the off-days every few weeks.
The danger of playing too late into the winter, besides the weather, is that it would shorten free agency and the recovery time between 2020 and 2021 for players, especially those in the playoffs. But the free agency thing might not even matter. A shorter free agency could actually be beneficial for baseball without the months of waiting around to see who blinks we've seen in recent years.
Joel Sherman of the NY Post had an interesting idea for a compromise between owners and players:
"Take 60 percent of prorated salaries now across the board in exchange for raising the minimum wage the next two years to $750,000 then $850,000, which helps the bottom end players. Then demand no luxury tax thresholds/penalties for 2021 and 2022. The expectation is that the financial downturn is going to impact those seeking larger contracts, particularly free agents. But if the Dodgers or Yankees or Cubs want to spend, let there at least not be an artificial barrier to doing that."
More about the players' proposal should be known by the end of the week.