Major League Baseball and the Players Association don’t seem any closer to a deal for the 2020 season than they were weeks ago. The battle over financial issues continues.
This return isn’t about health issues or any safety measures. It is solely about the amount of money that the owners and players will receive during a half-season without fans filling the ballparks.
Several baseball experts and former players have expressed their concern over the battle. Baseball had an opportunity for an exciting return, just as the NBA has planned. However, they continue to drag out the money talk.
Jeff Passan of ESPN discussed the disappointing results from negotiations.
“Already they have taken what could have been a triumphant return and dragged it through a swamp of pride and avarice and obduracy. In the middle of a pandemic. As cities around the country burn. With more than 40 million unemployed. It is myopic, and it is time for it to stop.”
Former players have also jumped in on the debate. They want the players to get what they deserve, but it’s approaching a point where it needs to come to an end.
“In all honesty, I’m a little less optimistic than I was 10 days, two weeks ago, after listening to some key players coming out and speaking out on it,” Chipper Jones said. “They continue to squabble over dollars and cents, salaries, revenue sharing, and all that kinda stuff. There’s 30 million people out there that’s outta work, and the last thing they wanna hear is a bunch of millionaires and billionaires squabble over maybe getting 30-35 percent of their salaries this year.”
What Needs to Happen
The union and the league need to form some sort of trust. The biggest issues surrounding them are caused by the distrust that has accumulated over the years. A compromise has to happen for the league to play any games in 2020.
Passan says there are two premises that will be the beginning of a deal.
- MLB is willing to pay players a full prorated share of their salaries over a 48-game season.
- The MLBPA is willing to play an 82-game season at a full prorated share of players’ salaries.
The owners have been discussing a shortened season with as few as 48 games. But the players union is focusing on an 82-game season in which they are paid slightly more than half of their salaries.
The league has announced that 40% of the revenue comes from game-day revenue, such as tickets, concessions, and other purchases at the stadium. They are going to lose money in the shortened season, but what the owners are willing to lose is the main question.
A 48-game schedule would leave a 720-game season. MLB’s loss of $640,000 per game over a 48-game season means the league would lose $460.8 million.
The players want a longer season to generate more money for themselves, but this wouldn’t benefit the owners.
A middle ground has to be found to see baseball in 2020.