There are reports that MLB players relish the chance for a grievance. This deal is not done. The following is exactly what the players gave up by voting 33-5 against the latest proposal from MLB:
The owners were offering $33 Million in salary relief for the lowest paid players. What does that mean exactly? The owners paid out $170 Million in March to the players as an advance. At the time it was agreed that this would be paid back over the season as games were played. Of course, the highest paid players were getting most of that money, because that’s who the MLBPA really works for. Here’s a partial list of who’s on the executive board of the MLBPA who voted against the deal. Lots of Boras clients.
The owners were offering an olive branch to those who need the money most. The executive committee of the MLBPA obviously doesn’t need debt forgiveness.
$25 Million Guaranteed In Playoff Money
Currently player playoff shares are based on gate receipts. What happens if there are no gate receipts because of a second wave of Covid-19? MLB was offering $25 Million guaranteed regardless of gate receipts. Again, for the players that don’t make much on playoff teams that’s a lot to give up? Last year even the last guy on the bench made $382,000 for the Nationals.
A macro view shows that the players should not have their playoff shares tied to gate receipts. They should have it tied to total revenue. But that is something that could be changed next year when the current agreement is up. This was at least money in the bank for this year.
There is more minutia in the total package that was rejected. The bottom line is the players rejected that deal, and are now lying in wait to file a grievance against the owners. There is little to no reason to expect this 60 day season to progress without a hitch from here on out.
The Long Shadow Of A Grievance
Would you reject a deal, then agree to show up and work for significantly less? Can a league have no deal, then have a deal again within hours? In the words of Kyrie Irving, something smells fishy.
In early June the owners were hesitant to impose a reduced season because of the potential of a grievance by the players. What’s changed? Perhaps the rise in Covid-19 cases in places like Florida and Arizona over the last few weeks. Maybe the owners are looking around at all the businesses going bankrupt and trimming employees and feel much more confident they will win. We’re sure to find out soon, because the players will certainly file a grievance with an independent arbiter soon.
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