MLB, MLBPA Reportedly Reach Agreement on Unresolved Player Contract Issues

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJuly 13, 2020

HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 27:  A bat and baseballs are seen on the turf before the game between the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays at Minute Maid Park on August 27, 2019 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Tim Warner/Getty Images

Major League Baseball and its players association reportedly reached an agreement on how the league will handle issues such as vesting options and roster bonuses on individual contracts during a shortened season amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported the news, noting vesting options for the 2021 campaign will still vest at full amounts but the threshold for vesting will be prorated in the 60-game season.

He used St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Andrew Miller as an example, pointing out his vesting option for 2021 of $12 million will still be worth $12 million. Miller's threshold to reach the vest was 37 games in 2020, so he will instead have to pitch in 14 games under the prorated conditions.

Rosenthal also reported bonuses and roster bonuses will be prorated, although postseason bonuses will be paid in full. What's more, days players spend on the COVID-19 list will still count as roster days when it comes to bonuses.

This is another step forward as baseball heads toward the start of what will be an unusual season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The season was originally pushed back in March during Spring Training as the pandemic started to spread in the U.S. before the league and players' union engaged in fairly hostile negotiations that dragged on for weeks before a plan was put in place.

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The two sides exchanged proposals on how revenue would be split, whether players' contracts would be prorated, how many games there would be in a shortened season and whether the playoffs would expand, among other topics.

Commissioner Rob Manfred eventually implemented a 60-game season that will see teams play only their divisional foes and interleague games against the corresponding division. That means those in the National League Central will only play other teams from the NL Central and those in the American League Central.

What's more, there will also be a universal designated hitter in place across both leagues.

Players who were concerned about vesting options and bonuses now know what the rules are regarding their individual contracts following this development as the July 23 start date approaches.

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