Report: MLBPA Waiting on Documents to Support Owners' Financial Distress Claims

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMay 30, 2020

A spring training baseball ball with a Cactus League logo sits on a dugout wall during a game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Angels Thursday, March 21, 2019, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

The Major League Baseball Players Association issued a memo to its members on Friday with some information about potential next steps in negotiations with teams about starting the 2020 season. 

Per The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal, the MLBPA is seeking additional information from the league about "additional paycuts of more than $800M that it contends are necessary to make it economically feasible to play games without fans. ... Importantly, the union still awaits key documents from MLB that would support the dubious financial distress claims the league has made in its attempt to force the additional givebacks from players." 

MLB made its latest economic proposal to the union on Tuesday in negotiations that will be a crucial step in potentially playing games in 2020. 

Per ESPN's Jeff Passan and Jesse Rogers, the league's proposal "drew the ire" of the MLBPA because it included "significant" salary cuts that would result in a sliding salary scale with the highest-paid players taking the largest pay cuts. 

Players making more than $20 million would earn 20 percent of their annual salary, for example. 

In March, MLB and the MLBPA reached agreement on a deal that included prorated salaries if the season is shortened and teams giving players $170 million to divide among themselves to cover two months of salaries without games played. 

Earlier this month, Ronald Blum of the Associated Press reported that MLB told the union it would lose $640,000 per game in a potential 82-game season without fans in the stands if players received their prorated salaries. 

Per Rosenthal and Evan Drellich, the MLBPA's counterproposal is expected to include a request to receive their full prorated salaries and proposing a regular-season schedule "in the range of 100 games."

Passan previously reported that MLB's proposal for an 82-game schedule includes a start date in early July, with a second spring training beginning in June. 

Spring training was suspended on March 12 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The start of the regular season, originally set for March 26, has been delayed indefinitely after initially being postponed for two weeks.