Who Makes Next Move in MLB’s Latest Economic Negotiations?

Considering how far apart both sides are after offering up their latest rounds of respective proposals, there’s certainly not much time left to reach an agreement if there will be some semblance of an MLB season in 2020.

Last weekend, the players’ union finally countered with a plan of their own, which was light years away from ownership’s previous offering. Details of the players’ proposal included a 114-game regular season that would run through late October, an opt-out clause that would allow any player to sit out the season, and a potential deferral of 2020 salaries if the postseason was canceled.

Needless to say, that deal was scorned by MLB owners. On Monday, it was reported that ownership is toying with the concept of a 50-game season, going in the complete opposite direction of their once proposed 82-game campaign.

The owners are claiming that they need the players to take an additional pay cut, or else they would lose more money by playing those games instead of cancelling them completely. This theory backs sentiments by the owners which we highlighted on Sunday, when Buster Olney of ESPN stated that “there is a group of owners perfectly willing to shut down the season and to slash payroll costs and reduce losses.”

Perhaps one disparity is the idea that the players’ association is assuming that by playing more games, the owners make more money. However, ownership is saying that theory is not necessarily the case, because there will likely be a number of games played without fans in the stands, who are the driving force of MLB revenues. Therefore, there are a high number of owners who believe that playing fewer games means losing fewer dollars.

If there’s any consolation, the idea that both sides are willing to negotiate offers at least a little promise. Nevertheless, the fact that they are moving farther apart in some areas suggests cause for pessimism.

In his column on Tuesday, Jesse Rogers of ESPN wrote about how put themselves at greater risk for long-term injury or contraction of the coronavirus during what would be a small portion of a typical season. Additionally, Rogers also mentioned how such a shortened season could affect the salaries of players into the future, as teams and players would have to weigh such a small sample of statistics and/or progressions in future contract talks.

Either way, the clock continues to tick.

The 50-game season proposal by the owners has not officially been sent to the union as of Tuesday afternoon.

 

 

 

Mixed Signals Linger Around Latest Salary Negotiations

While there still isn’t any real hard news about progress being made between the owners and players surrounding prospective 2020 salary payouts, there was a small flurry of speculation that was shared by several different sources of the media early Sunday.

Buster Olney of ESPN in his weekend column hinted that just when everyone felt that some kind of agreement would eventually be reached, ownership may decide to take the road of standing firm with their latest offer.

According to Olney, “Sources say there is a group of owners perfectly willing to shut down the season, to slash payroll costs and reduce losses, and the disparate views among the 30 teams have been reflected in the decisions to fire and furlough.”

Olney also mentioned the possibility of a potential strike (noting the shortness of time remaining in the current collective bargaining agreement), stating that the owners, already damaged by the money losses this year, “could be more inclined to dig in and wait out the players, aiming for a lasting reconstruction of baseball’s financial model. The labor fight could go on and on, and by the time it all plays out, it’s impossible to know how many fans, feeling alienated or disgusted, will leave baseball behind once and for all.”

Indeed, for as much as the players and the owners are significantly affected by the entire scenario, some fans are also hurt, not just for missing out on several months of the country’s most popular pastime, but also by facing unaffordable costs to attend the games once the gates open up to fans.

Some examples show that for a family of four to attend a single game, average costs around the MLB figure to be somewhere just shy of $200.00, when taking into consideration parking, food and other minimal concessions. Moreover, wherever the 2020 season might end up, it isn’t immediately known if those prices will escalate in efforts to recuperate any lost funds.

Whatever happens, considering the current state of the economy, many families might find themselves in positions to spend less on baseball during a prospective shortened season this year than they have during past seasons when they were more financially stable.

Regardless, as Andy pointed out in her column on Friday, the general consensus was that both sides would need to reach a financial agreement by June 1 to keep a July 4 start to the season in the crosshairs.

And that doesn’t even take into consideration a mutual agreement regarding health and safety standards in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Still, there have been some other whispers floating about, specifically by Joel Sherman of the New York Post, who indicated that “the sides have until next weekend [June 7], maybe a day or two more, to reach an agreement that would allow teams to gather by the weekend of June 12-14 and have three weeks of spring training 2.0 and start the season July 3.”

Sherman also stated that the people in his own circle—from both sides—still believe that a deal will be reached soon. However, there are “real bad feelings, historic patterns of hate and other hurdles making it less than a sure thing.”

Stay tuned for details as they develop.

 

MLB Owners Present New Salary Plan to Players Union

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Tuesday marked the day of another step forward in the realization of an abbreviated 2020 Major League Baseball season.

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A Look Back at the 2002 Dodgers

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(Getty Images photo)

If you’re a fan who follows the history of the Dodgers closely (or if you’re a fan who personally witnessed the misery of not making the playoffs for a sixth consecutive season), you’ll remember that 2002 was pretty much the year of just two players—outfielder Shawn Green and reliever Eric Gagne.

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Dodgers Named Finalist for ESPN’S Sports Humanitarian Team of Year

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The Dodgers on Wednesday were named a finalist for the Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year, as announced by ESPN. The honor comes in recognition of the club’s official charity, the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF).

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State Governors Signal Approvals for Live Sporting Events

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(Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times)

Just like we said in Sunday’s column, “outlooks on the COVID-19 pandemic sometimes change daily, causing bursts of optimism one day and spurts of pessimism the next.”

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Too Many Uncertainties Still Linger Around a Potential 2020 MLB Season

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For what has felt like months now, we have seemingly been hearing an entirely new proposal almost every week about how the 2020 Major League Baseball season may ultimately be structured.

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Safety Issues Aside, Players and Owners Still Have Differences About 2020 Season

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For a quick moment on Monday, there appeared to be some progress towards making the 2020 Major League Baseball season a reality.

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What an Abbreviated 2020 MLB Draft Means for Dodgers

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(Photo Credit: Bleacher Nation)

If you have already heard the news surrounding the 2020 MLB Amateur Draft, you’ll know that this year’s version will still happen, but it will be cut back to just five rounds, shortening the annual event by a whopping 35 rounds.

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Professional Baseball Recommencing in Other Parts of World

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While there’s still no concrete direction for baseball in the United States, the idea that the game is gaining steam in other parts of the world deems promising for many fans on American soil.

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