by Chris Camello (@chris_camello)
LOS ANGELES — We all knew these coming weeks were going to be a make-or-break situation for the 2020 MLB season amidst this COVID-19 pandemic.
The MLB owners proposed an 82-game schedule after a three-week training camp while playing three exhibition games in the final week of camp.
The biggest issue would be the salary cuts which impact the highest-paid players in the league, as they would have to roughly take an 80 percent pay cut for this season. For example, reigning AL MVP Mike Trout, who was due to earn $37.7 million this season, would end up making around $8 million through the proposed 82-game schedule.
A silver lining is the players could get a return of that money if every round of the MLB playoffs are completed. There could be $200 million in bonuses with the highest-paid players receiving the bulk of it.
The MLBPA, one of the strongest unions in pro sports, are obviously not going to entertain this offer whatsoever. They understand they will have to take a pay cut, but this scale has already been deemed excessive by several players.
The players are incurring all of the physical risk. It’s very possible that even with weekly (possibly daily) testing, increased sanitization procedures, and non-spectator stadiums, some players may still test positive for COVID-19.
For all players, it won’t be worth it to risk infection which could spread to others while also taking a substantial pay cut.
Unless the owners step their game up and show appreciation for the guys that help them pour in billions every year with a more agreeable prorated scale, this 2020 season is on shaky ground.
The optics for both players and owners are bad right now, because both sides look greedy and the focus once again becomes money, not health and safety.
If a deal falls through and both sides refuse to compromise, everybody loses but just like in 1994, the biggest losers will be the fans.