Scott Boras Speaks out Against MLB Owners' Revenue-Sharing Proposal for 2020

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 12, 2020

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 18: Sports Agents Scott Boras looks on during the New York Yankees press conference to introduce Gerrit Cole at Yankee Stadium on December 18, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Scott Boras, who represents a number of stars across MLB, criticized any proposal to ditch prorated salaries and instead use a 50-50 revenue split for player compensation during the 2020 season.

Boras issued a statement to Sports Illustrated's Stephanie Apstein:  

"The players I represent are unified in that they reached an agreement and they sacrificed anywhere from 30 to 40 percent of their salaries so that the games could amicably continue. The owners represented during that negotiation that they could operate without fans in the ballpark. Based on that, we reached an agreement and there will not be a renegotiation of that agreement."

The MLB Players Association reached an agreement with team owners in March that addressed the possible ramifications of a 2020 season affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Most notably, players would receive a portion of their contracts tied directly to the number of games played.

USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported Monday that team owners approved a plan to collect 50 percent of league revenue, which is how the NBA, NFL and NHL distribute their income. However, that would almost certainly mean players receive even less money than they'd get under the terms of the original agreement.

Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic reported the idea was a "non-starter" for the union. MLBPA executive director Tony Clark compared it to imposing a salary cap, something MLB doesn't have:

"A system that restricts player pay based on revenues is a salary cap, period. This is not the first salary cap proposal our union has received. It probably won't be the last. 

"That the league is trying to take advantage of a global health crisis to get what they've failed to achieve in the past — and to anonymously negotiate through the media for the last several days — suggests they know exactly how this will be received."

In the likely event MLB has to stage games in empty stadiums, Apstein noted teams would still be earning television and sponsorship revenue. Nightengale also reported the playoffs would expand from 10 teams to 14, which would allow for even more TV money.

Under the proposal, teams would start an abbreviated training camp in June ahead of Opening Day on July 1.

While that would put the start of the delayed season fewer than two months away, the financial particulars between the players and owners are shaping up to be a big hurdle.