MLB 2020 season negotiations: League’s new proposal includes sliding payment scale for players, report says

Major League Baseball and the Players Association are now in their third week of talks concerning the possibility of playing a modified 2020 season around the spread of the novel coronavirus. While league insiders who have talked to CBS Sports in recent days have expressed optimism about the chances of an agreement being reached, arguably the biggest hurdle remaining entails the two sides reaching a deal on the players’ financial compensation.

On Tuesday, the owners reportedly approved a proposal that will now be shipped to the union. Although their originaly rumored intent was to put a 50-50 revenue sharing plan on the table, the owners instead are said to have asked the players to sign off on a “sliding scale of compensation” that would trim the salaries of players set to make the most money in 2020, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. Revenue sharing, as it turns out, is not mentioned in the proposal, per Nightengale’s report.

The league and the MLB Players Association are set to meet on Tuesday afternoon, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.

Over the weekend, The Athletic reported that the union intended to propose deferred payments on prorated salaries, with the exact figure hinging on how many games were played during the modified season. It stands to reason the two sides could compromise by agreeing to a sliding scale of compensation that would see the highest salaries reduced this season and paid back later through deferred payments.

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MLB was originally scheduled to launch its season exactly two months ago, on March 26. The spread of COVID-19 across the country forced the league to scrap those plans two weeks prior. The prevalent school of thought is that the two sides would like to have an agreement in place sooner than later, with an eye on beginning a second “spring” training in June and the regular season sometime in early July. The postseason, meanwhile, would likely conclude no later than early November. 

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