Angels News: MLB to propose sliding salary scale to players

Commissioner of Major League Baseball Rob Manfred , Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Commissioner of Major League Baseball Rob Manfred , Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

MLB owners and the MLBPA are preparing to discuss plans for salaries this week, including an amendment to the previously rumored revenue split.

As the MLB owners and players continue to discuss ways to get the game back on the field in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, the biggest hiccup in negotiations continues to salary expectations. However, recent reports indicate that the two sides are set to negotiate further this week and there may be a path to compromise.

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Major League Baseball will no longer be pushing the 50/50 revenue split that the players were against. Rather, they are set to propose a new option on Monday. Instead, the expected plan would likely involve a sliding scale, where the players with the highest salaries will surrender a larger percentage and the players at the bottom of the earning scale will take little to no cut on their 2020 salaries.

For instance, a player like Mike Trout of the Angels would take a hefty pay cut, given that he’s the game’s highest earner, scheduled to make $37.116 million in 2020. Meanwhile, Shohei Ohtani, who will make $650,000 before proration, will not lose any more of his salary.

The players have been adamantly against any sort of further pay cut, citing a mid-March agreement that would have pro-rated their salaries as much as 50% based on the fact that the first three months of the season were lost. However, the owners have maintained that without fans in the stands, the prorated salaries would still have them in the red due to the loss of gate fees and concessions.

As this new plan would likely still constitute a pay cut, it is likely that the players association will either flat out reject it or counter the proposal with their own. Over the weekend, there were reports that the MLBPA was already preparing its own offer, which would see the players collect the entirety of their prorated salaries, but defer set portions of that amount into the future. That would allow the owners to control their costs in 2020 while ensuring the players that they won’t lose further salary.

With differing proposals at play, there obviously remains a lot of work to be done before players are ready to take the field. However, both plans show a willingness to compromise to some degree, with both sides bending a little. That’s encouraging to fans that are awaiting confirmation that the 2020 season will start.

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If an agreement is made, teams will report to a shortened spring training in mid-June and the 2020 MLB season would begin the weekend of July 4th. The season would be expected to run into October, with a 14-team November postseason.