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MLB players won’t make salary concessions after ambitious league proposal raises ire

MLB, MLBPA

The Major League Baseball Players Association is heavily expected to counter MLB’s economic proposal by the end of this week, one that was met with ire from some of the stars of the game.

The MLBPA’s plan will include more than 100 games and a guarantee of full prorated salaries for the 2020 season, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN.

MLB and its owners proposed a second wave of salary cuts on top of the prorated salaries from a prompted 82-game season. The pitch would render the league’s highest-paid player, Mike Trout, to make only 15.3% of his full-fledged $37,666,666 contract.

That alone sparked ire among several league circles, including one of the best-paid starting pitchers, Max Scherzer, who quickly sent a warning shot to league owners:

“After discussing the latest developments with the rest of the players there’s no need to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions,” Scherzer wrote in a tweet Wednesday night. “We have previously negotiated a pay cut in the version of prorated salaries, and there’s no justification to accept a 2nd pay cut based upon the current information the union has received.”

Scherzer started with some off-speed trickery, but finished off with his calling card, the heater:

“I’m glad to hear other players voicing the same viewpoint and believe MLB’s economic strategy would completely change if all documentation were to become public information,” added Scherzer.

That is as straight-forward a threat as they come, as Scherzer has expressed severe doubt that MLB is struggling financially as bad as it says it is. The union remains skeptical of the data the league shared showing the losses across the sport and recently requested further documentation to comply with their claim of steep losses in local television revenue, national television revenue, sponsorship revenue, and projections from individual teams.

MLB proposed a no-fans-allowed season starting the first week of July, though that timeline could be in peril if labor discussions stretch further, keeping players from a proper spring training. Thus far, the two sides are far apart in negotiations.