The MLB is reportedly eyeing Arizona as the home of the 2020 season in order to keep players and personnel safe from the coronavirus risk and limit travel. Should that plan move forward, players are now facing the threat of pay cuts in order to account for lost team revenue from home ballparks.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic offered new reports into the potential “Arizona plan” that is being called the likely scenario for baseball’s return. He spoke with Fox Sports broadcaster Chris Meyers about the possibility and what the league would need from players in order to move forward.
“Will this happen in baseball? There are still a lot of logistical hurdles to overcome,” Rosenthal said of the Arizona plan. “Baseball is yet to even present a plan to the owners about how this would work and in the end of course they’d have to go to the union and then it appears they would ask the players for further reductions in salary.”
Players across the league have already agreed to accept a prorated salary on the terms of there being a shortened season, but additional measures could present difficulties for clubs. Further pay cuts that could come into play would make up for the revenue each team would lose through ticket sales, concessions, parking and other fan-associated costs.
Additionally, safety measures would need to be taken, notably having access to virus testing kits to administer to all involved weekly. Phoenix-area hotels would need to house all 30 clubs and players would find their personal lives disrupted for the entirety of the season given they would have to stay away from their families and practice social distancing from teammates both on and off the field. Nonetheless, these measures, no matter how inconvenient, are necessary to bring baseball and other sports back, Dr. Anthony Fauci confirmed last week.
“There is a long way to go here it seems. But there is still a lot of talk about the possibility of this sport coming back,” Rosenthal said.