With the 2020 baseball season hanging in the balance in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have been trading proposals to return to action. Here, we break down the details of the offers and counteroffers from the owners and the union as both sides negotiate a resumption of preseason preparation, a shortened regular season, alternative playoff formats and — of course — player compensation and player safety.
MLBPA’s second counterproposal: June 9, 2020
Season: 89 regular-season games, July 11-Oct. 10.
Postseason: 16 teams (eight in each league) for 2020 and 2021.
Compensation: Full prorated salaries.
• Players who are “high risk” or reside with a “high risk” individual for COVID-19 are entitled to full service and salary if they opt out of participating in the 2020 season; players with no high-risk concerns may opt out, but without service or salary.
MLB’s second offer: June 8, 2020
Season: 76 regular-season games; regular season ends by Sept. 27.
Postseason: Expanded to up to eight teams per league for 2020, at MLB’s discretion, does extend further than the end of October.
Compensation: Players would receive 75% of their prorated salaries, contingent on the playoffs being completed.
• Individuals at high risk of contracting the coronavirus could opt out of the 2020 season and retain their salaries and service time.
• Elimination of direct draft-pick compensation for free agents tagged with qualifying offers; teams losing top free agents would get a compensatory draft pick but those signing that free agent would not be penalized by having to give up a top pick.
MLBPA’s first counterproposal: May 31, 2020
Season: 114 regular-season games, June 29-Oct. 31.
Postseason: Expanded 14-team playoffs for two years.
Compensation: Full prorated compensation per game played.
• A salary advance of $100 million to split among players during the so-called “spring training 2.0” that leads up to the regular season.
• Additional commitment to players wearing microphones on the field and other broadcast enhancements.
• An offer to hold events such as an offseason All-Star Game or Home Run Derby to generate additional revenue.
MLB’s first offer to the players: May 26, 2020
Season: An 82-game regular-season schedule starting in July after a 21-day spring training.
Postseason: Expands to 14 teams for 2020.
Compensation: Instead of full prorated salaries, a sliding scale that goes down as salaries go up, with every dollar:
• $563,500 (MLB minimum) 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%
Postseason bonuses weighted to pay higher-paid players more.