Report: MLBPA Proposes 114-Game Season, Salary Deferral Options for Players

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IIJune 1, 2020

VARIOUS CITIES,  - MARCH 12:  A detail of baseballs during a Grapefruit League spring training game between the Washington Nationals and the New York Yankees at FITTEAM Ballpark of The Palm Beaches on March 12, 2020 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Many professional and college sports, including the MLB, are canceling or postponing their games due to the ongoing threat of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Major League Baseball received a proposal from the MLB Players Association on Sunday afternoon that included a 114-game 2020 season beginning June 30, according to The Athletic's Evan Drellich:

Evan Drellich @EvanDrellich

@lindseyadler • Deferral would be ONLY if the postseason is canceled. Would apply to contracts of $10 million above (before being prorated). Payments would be in November 2021 and 2022. • Either way, players would get additional salary advance during spring training camp of $100 million.

Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal expanded upon the proposed opt-out clause for players:

Jared Diamond @jareddiamond

One more clarification: The union proposed $100 million of deferred money this year if the playoffs are canceled. The deferments would be with interest and would be paid out in November 2021 and 2022. It applies to contracts of $10 million and above, before proration.

The 2020 MLB season was originally scheduled to begin with a March 26 Opening Day, which was suspended March 12 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

Earlier Sunday, ESPN's Buster Olney reported from the league owners' perspective: "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."

Both sides will have to come to terms on a return-to-play-plan this week in order for a June 30 start date to be plausible:

Jeff Passan @JeffPassan

Important note from the MLBPA's proposal. It has a season start date of June 30. Players want three weeks for training. Bake in a few days to travel to cities -- domestically and from around the world -- and for coronavirus testing. The point: a deal needs to get done this week.

A point of contention from the players' side has been reduction in pay and, more specifically, a proposed shared revenue plan from earlier this month. 

Several players have come out publicly against taking any more pay cuts:

Max Scherzer @Max_Scherzer


John Flanigan @jflan816

Here’s Blake Snell discussing MLB’s revenue split proposal this afternoon on Twitch. https://t.co/CCyCai42Aj

Howard Eskin @howardeskin

#Phillies Bryce Harper Thursday night on his Twitch stream agreed with #Rays P Blake Snell about not wanting to take pay cut. @sportsradiowip Somebody’s gotta say it' — Bryce Harper on Blake Snell's comments | NBC Sports Philadelphia https://t.co/FDdoiIc9kf

ESPN's Jeff Passan broke down what the league had proposed to the players last week:

Jeff Passan @JeffPassan

If y'all are ready for some late-night nerding out, I'm going to explain the marginal salary structure MLB proposed to the union today. It’s complicated and will be rejected, but it's interesting to see how the league structured its first offer to the players, so bear with me.

Jeff Passan @JeffPassan

The salary scale in the proposal is: - $0 to $563,500 (league minimum) paid at 90% - $563,501 to $1 million paid at 72.5% - $1,000,001 to $5 million paid at 50% - $5,000,001 to $10 million paid at 40% - $10,000,001 to $20 million paid at 30% - $20,000,001 and up paid at 20%

The MLB and MLBPA previously came to an agreement in April that included player pay cuts, as relayed by Passan.