Weeks into negotiations, the MLB Players Association has reportedly delivered a counter-proposal to the league regarding the 2020 season. The union’s return-to-play plan is said to include a 114-game format, the option for players to opt-out regarding coronavirus concerns, and deferral of salaries, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
Terms of the 114-game season include play running from June 30 to October 31, while salary deferrals are proposed only in the event that the postseason is cancelled. Per ESPN’s report, deferrals would total $100 million, include interest and apply to players with contracted salaries of at least $10 million. Players have also proposed the ability to opt-out of the season for personal health concerns and receive salary – an aspect of the league’s drafted safety protocol that was offered without pay.
Much of the ongoing negotiations have involved compensations as clubs are faced with significantly decreased revenue. Players maintain that they should be paid their full, prorated salaries while the league proposed further pay cuts on all levels to accommodate for the loss in revenue.
As for the season format, players are said to expect a rejection of the 114-game plan. The MLB had initially proposed a truncated 82-game season to begin in early July and wrap with an expanded playoff field of 14 teams rather than 10. In the player’s counter proposal, that playoff format was reportedly requested for two years.
Additional aspects of the union’s proposal include a salary advance of $100 million to split among players during a season training period, the cooperation of players to wear microphones on the field for enhanced broadcasting, and a proposal to stage events like the All-Star Game during the offseason as a way to generate more revenue.