MLB Owners’ Latest Proposal: Full Prorated Salaries, But Significantly Shorter Season

Jordan Cohn
June 01, 2020 - 4:37 pm
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Another day, another negotiation between the MLB and the MLBPA. Except this time, there seems to be some progress made in closing in on a realistic solution.

When we last left off, the league had proposed to cut player salaries on a sliding scale, with massive deductions taken from top player salaries. For instance, Gerrit Cole's $36 million salary would be cut to around $8 million. Bryce Harper's $27.5 million contract would dip below $7 million. And, so on.

You can understand why the players wouldn't be happy with this agreement, with star players such as Max Scherzer going so far as to say that it wasn't even worth negotiating with the league any further. With such drastic pay cuts, on top of the original March agreement to prorate their salaries based on the number of games played, players were outraged by such an idea.

But the league responded in a way that could be viewed as pleasantly surprising to some. Jeff Passan of ESPN first broke the news.

A full prorated share of their salaries. As in, Gerrit Cole would not make around 30-40% of his intended paycheck, but the full 100% -- still based on the games played. How many games would be played in this format? Passan notes that the league would look to shorten it significantly.

That right there is the kicker. Just how much prorated money would the number of games in a 55-game season equate to? Our own Stephen Andress crunched the numbers, using RADIO.COM Sports MLB insider Jon Heyman's scale.

This proposal comes very soon after the union submitted a proposal for a 114-game season with full prorated salaries. The length of the season is the major change here, as the players have been adamant all along about receiving full salaries given the conditions they'll be playing in. The reason the owners feel as though they can shorten the season, according to Passan, is due to the terms of a prior agreement.

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