DEVELOPING: MLB proposes 76-game season, 75% player prorated salaries

MLB lockout
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Baseball and the owners have finally countered the players’ union (MLBPA) after five days of silence. 

According to ESPN’s Karl Ravech, MLB has proposed a 76-game season in which players would receive 75% of their prorated salary — three-quarters of their normal pay per game for the number of games played in 2020.

The regular season would finish on September 27th with the World Series being completed at the end of October.

That 75% number, though, is only if the postseason can be fully carried out, which is a concern given the current state of the country amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

It appeared to be a step in the right direction from the league to work with the players, who have not necessarily relented much in recent negotiations. But USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports that the proposal is considered a “step backwards” by the union, which has made it known that they are unwilling to move from 100% prorated compensation.

They have a point. 

MLB continues to propose the exact same financial pay scale to the players’ union, just in different forms, as first documented by CBS Sports’ Mike Axisa

After their initial 50-50 revenue sharing plan was shot down, MLB proposed an 82-game season with sliding pay cuts that would impact the league’s highest-paid players more. 

The average salary they would have received was 33% of their normal annual income. 

The league’s ensuing idea of a 50-game season while offering full prorated salaries also saw players receive just 33% of their salaries. 

Now, the 76-game season with 75% prorated salaries would amount players getting — you guessed it — 33% of their salaries. 

The union proposed a 114-game season with full prorated salaries last week, which was turned down by the league not only because of the financial parameters but because a season of such length would mean the World Series would not be held until November. That increases the chances of the postseason being wiped out if a second wave of coronavirus hits the United States this fall. 

The league and union initially agreed to full prorated salaries in March, but without fans in attendance should play return this season due to the COVID-19 outbreak, teams losing an average of $640,000 per game looked to amend that pact. 

Given the reported initial reaction from the union, there is a minuscule chance that such a proposal would be accepted, meaning the stalemate between MLB and its players will continue almost one month after an initial return-to-play plan was accepted by the owners.