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Tom Wilson jokes about Bryce Harper's looming decision

Tom Wilson jokes about Bryce Harper's looming decision

As the months, weeks, and days continue to roll on in what seems like the never-ending Bryce Harper saga, your average baseball fans aren't the only ones invested in the big decision coming. 

Professional athletes are, too. Especially those in Washington. 

After Monday night's win over the Kings, Capitals right winger Tom Wilson talked with reporters on the matter. 

"I know a couple of us got the unfollow the other day, so I don't know if that's writing on the wall, but...," Wilson joked. 

Last June, when the Vegas Golden Knights went on their unprecedented run and faced Washington in the Stanley Cup Finals, Harper made it clear his loyalty lied with his hometown of Las Vegas. 

As much as Wilson gives Harper a hard time for that, he still respects the six-time MLB All-Star for what he's accomplished and the role he's played in D.C. 

Every time I've met him he's been a great guy. He's been a leader in this city for a long time. 

Wilson's brief exchange with reporters came on a day that the San Francisco Giants became the latest team reportedly in the driver's seat to land the 26-year-old superstar. 

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Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg among those who would take huge pay cuts in league’s proposal

Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg among those who would take huge pay cuts in league’s proposal

What won’t be a shining moment for Major League Baseball is coming soon.

The players and league appear to be on track to figure out health regulations. Though, there is a lot of work to be done to finish such an effort. Both sides -- the owners and players -- are desperate to play. Why? Because this is their job, their rhythm and their livelihood. Which is why they can likely come to an agreement about an acceptable level of risk to restart baseball in regard to health regulations.

Once that is determined, ugly will stop by for a week. The portion of the problem projected to be poorly received in public will become the lone remaining hurdle: who gets what revenue.

Baseball’s sides have argued over this for decades. The players go on strike, the owners try to keep salaries down, both plead their case in the media. Two guaranteed things follow. The public groans and, eventually, the sides come to an agreement.

Part of this brutish process played out Tuesday when multiple reports said the owners asked the players for a tiered pay cut. The players, predictably, did not agree.

For the Nationals, who have sunk the majority of their payroll into starting pitchers, the proposed system would take large chunks of cash from their top-end players.

Max Scherzer is in the sixth year of his seven-year, $210 million contract. Stephen Strasburg is in the first year of his seven-year, $245 million contract. Patrick Corbin is in the second year of his six-year, $140 million deal.

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Corbin’s base salary jumped to $19 million this year. Strasburg was in line for $35 million. Scherzer’s base salary was supposed to be $28,777,759. He receives a large “signing bonus” annual payment of $7.1 million.

The new proposal from the league would vault all three into the top tier of pay cuts.

Here’s the scale, as reported by ESPN:

  • $563,501 to $1 million paid at 72.5%
  • $1,000,001 to $5 million paid at 50%
  • $5,000,001 to $10 million paid at 40%
  • $10,000,001 to $20 million paid at 30%
  • $20,000,001 and up paid at 20%

These cuts follow the already prorated salaries players would work under during an 82-game season. So, it’s akin to a sale of 20 percent off something that is already 50 percent off.

Which produces rough numbers like this:

Scherzer would make around $4.333 million in base salary.

Strasburg would make $5.313 million.

Corbin is in a relative sweet spot. He would be right behind Scherzer, at $3.815 million, because he’s a tier below in the sliding reduction scale and receives a 10-percent bump compared to Scherzer.

The proposal includes a split of postseason money, too. This is typically a boon for owners. Here, they are trying to give the players a piece in order to make the pay cuts more palatable. However, the players are aware the owners are offering the riskiest part of this financial endeavor -- that there would be a postseason -- in exchange for a guaranteed reduction.

So, the players see an offer where they assume all the risk -- health on the field and as it relates to the coronavirus, a guaranteed reduction in pay, and a non-guaranteed way to make up the financial ground. They will not agree to that. At least not in such large reductions.

So, be prepared for more groaning, griping and general sighs. The sides have about 10 days to figure this all out. The only thing known so far is this structure will not work.

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Nationals will not lay off full-time business or baseball employees amid coronavirus pandemic

Nationals will not lay off full-time business or baseball employees amid coronavirus pandemic

The Washington Nationals decided to use “partial furloughs” to keep their baseball and business employees at work through the end of their contracts or the calendar year.

The road map works like this:

All full-time business and baseball employees will receive a reduction in pay and hours ranging from 10 to 30 percent. If the employee’s contract runs to the end of baseball season -- typically Oct. 31 -- then these parameters apply from now until then. If the employee is not on contract, these reductions persist until Dec. 31.

No full-time employee is being laid off because of the economic impact from coronavirus.

An example: If a person works a 40-hour week, and has the 10 percent reduction in pay and hours, they are down to a 36-hour week at 10 percent pay cut.

The reduction scale slides. The highest-paid employees, like Mike Rizzo, are taking the largest reduction in pay. Then on down the line.

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The Nationals deciding to do this now allows their staff to know what the future holds as opposed to wondering month-to-month what decision the organization will make in regard to their job status.

Major League Baseball organizations remain uneasy about their financial future in 2020 since the season has stalled. The league and its team owners are in the midst of negotiations with the MLBPA while attempting to find a safe, revenue-satisfactory path back to the field.

Meanwhile, teams across the league are assessing their non-player finances, and the approach varies. For instance, the Anaheim Angels decided last week to furlough some non-playing employees.

In Washington, no full-time employee will be laid off because of this salary adjustment.

USA Today was first to report the Nationals’ overall decision.

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