Major League Baseball proposal includes pay cuts for highest-paid players

Andrew Miller

The proposal - the first economic plan outlined by the league in two weeks - is the opening salvo in an important week of negotiations that will determine whether or not Major League Baseball is played in 2020. With players already having agreed that they would receive no pay for canceled games, the proposal set up a potential scenario for some of the game's greatest stars to play about 50% of the season for about 25% of their previously guaranteed salaries.

Many MLB teams have furloughed employees and implemented salary cuts.

An attempt at convening for spring training in June is part of the proposed Major League Baseball plan that would including Opening Day, originally scheduled for March 26, being moved to the first week of July.

But the wrangling over money has left some wondering if there will be a season at all.

While it's not known how deep those cuts will be, Heyman reports it could be 70 or 80-percent for some of the game's highest paid players.

It is possible the union will see MLB's proposal as an attempt to divide its membership. "This season is not looking promising", he said in a tweet.

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Under the proposal, players making minimum salary would play the half-season schedule for about 46% of their 2020 salary, according to details first reported by ESPN.

Players were scheduled to earn about $4 billion in salary this year.

Instead, Commissioner Rob Manfred leveraged a "national emergency" provision in the collective bargaining agreement to reach a March 26 agreement in which players agreed to a prorated salary for any games played this season.

Teams are anxious about being at risk if a second wave of the virus causes cancellation of the postseason, which results in Major League Baseball receiving $787 million in broadcast revenue this year.

As word of the proposal spread, players bristled at the notion of taking further pay reductions - particularly ones that would affect the highest-paid players - after a March agreement that they believe guarantees them a full prorated share of their salaries.

Lower-revenue clubs would want something in return. One possibility would be to give them additional competitive balance-round picks in amateur drafts, where a pick in the 42-52 range overall yields prospects with slot values of $1.4 million to $1.8 million who have a better chance historically of becoming big leaguers.

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