Report: MLB Could Put Forth a 40-50 Game Season
The Major League Baseball Players Association received Major League Baseball's proposal for a return to play last week for an 82-game season with reduced salaries. It was not met with much enthusiasm from players, to say the least. The MLB Players Association put together a proposal of their own for Major League Baseball, with 114 games played at full pro-rated salaries. Major League Baseball is reportedly looking for another way.
Jeff Passan of ESPN is reporting that Major League Baseball is prepared to move forward with a season as low as 40-50 games:
Although MLB does not intend to propose this to the players, the possibility of implementing a schedule of around 50 games that would start in July has been considered by the league as a last resort in the event that the parties can't come to a deal, sources said.
How would that happen? MLB would enforce their previous agreement with the players.
Back on March 26, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association came to a quick agreement. The players would be fronted 4% of their pay, and agreed to play the season on a pro-rated basis related to games played. That would mean a season 40-50 games would mean just 25% of salaries are paid, before playoff revenues.
The Los Angeles Times wrote:
Owners and players hope to play a shortened season, once the public health threat recedes from the coronavirus crisis. The owners would like to expand the playoff format this year — the better to maximize television revenue, and to try out such a format with an eye toward the future — and the players agreed to negotiate on the specifics.
So while that agreement says that they would "negotiate the specifics", Major League Baseball might be able to open up in time for 40-50 games and the players could be under contract to play.
As Jesse Rogers of ESPN noted, some players expressed some concerns with playing 25% of a season. The risk injury incurred during a partial season in which 25% of their salary is earned might be risky, as it could put players at risk of the 2021 season. Players were also concerned that many players have slumps at some point during a long season. A short season could be a poor representation of their ability.
Is there room for something in between 40-50 and 114? Could there be 100 games with some salary deferrals? Extra revenue from extra playoffs? The meeting in the middle could get to that point. but for now, the sides seem pretty far apart.