The 2020 MLB season appears to be on life support.
New York Mets starting pitcher Marcus Stroman tweeted Tuesday that "this season is not looking promising," calling further into question whether the league's owners and players will be able to agree to a salary structure given the unique circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic:
At issue between the two sides is whether the payers will take an additional pay cut, following the one they took in March that prorated their salaries based on games played. To this point, they have been adamant they would not agree to further cuts, with the owners originally proposing a 50-50 revenue share. The players view that as a salary cap, however, and have resisted such overtures.
The owners have countered that the loss from a shortened season, likely without fans in the stands for its duration, would represent a loss of revenue they alone can't absorb.
The players, however, feel that they've already taken a pay cut this year and that the owners alone reap the benefits of increased profits in good years given the structuring of the collective bargaining agreement, so they should absorb the hit in a bad year.
Jon Heyman @JonHeyman
Regarding MLB plan to seek a 50-50 revenue split, Scott Boras, noting franchise value increases and previous profits (he mentioned a $476M gain in ‘19 for Braves, the one team owned by a public company), said on @JoeandEvan “You don’t privatize the gains and socialize the losses”
Players are also concerned that teams may look to cut their losses next offseason, affecting free agency and arbitration.
Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic reported Sunday that the league is eschewing the 50-50 revenue-split proposal and on Tuesday had "plans to offer an alternative proposal, leaving the union with a potential choice: to hold the league to the prorated salaries the two sides negotiated in March, or accommodate the owners' desire for a second, possibly percentage-based cut in some other fashion."
Stroman, at least, doesn't feel optimistic the two sides will bridge the gap separating them. If they don't, the season will be cancelled, a possibility baseball fans should be bracing for at this point.