Players call MLB economic proposal `extremely disappointing'

Full Screen
1 / 2

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Distance markers on the outfield wall and the foul pole, top left, frame the upper center field concourses at Globe Life Field, the newly-built home of the Texas Rangers, in Arlington, Texas, Wednesday, May 20, 2020. The park that was supposed to have its home opener on March 31 against the Los Angeles Angels has yet to see one game played in it this season amid the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

NEW YORK – A rookie at the major league minimum would keep about 47% of his original salary this year while multimillionaire stars Mike Trout and Gerrit Cole would lose more than 77% under a sliding-scale proposal by big league teams that players found “extremely disappointing.”

Major League Baseball made the proposal to the players' union on Tuesday during a digital meeting rather than the 50-50 revenue-sharing plan that owners initially approved for their negotiators on May 11, several people familiar with the plan told The Associated Press. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because details were not announced.

In addition to its reaction on the economics, the union said “the sides also remain far apart on health and safety protocols” aimed at starting the pandemic-delayed season around the Fourth of July. The sides have been grappling with how to aim for an opening day originally scheduled for March 26 but pushed back because of the new coronavirus.

“We made a proposal to the union that is completely consistent with the economic realities facing our sport,” MLB said in a statement. “We look forward to a responsive proposal from the MLBPA.”

Players agreed March 26 to a deal in which they would receive prorated shares of their salaries based on what percentage of each team’s 162-game schedule is played. In exchange, players were guaranteed that if no games are played they would receive service time for 2020 matching what they accrued in 2019.

MLB has proposed an 82-game schedule and says the March 26 deal would result in huge losses because it did not necessarily account for a season with no fans in ballparks.

Under the plan given the union Tuesday, a player would keep 90% of his salary up to the $563,500 big league minimum, including those with lower salaries while on optional or outright assignments in the minor leagues, according to information obtained by the AP.

The amount would decrease to 72.5% from $563,501 though $1 million, to 50% from $1,000,001 through $5 million, to 40% from $5,000,001 through $10 million, to 30% from $10,000,0001 through $20 million and to 20% from $20,000,001 and up.