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MLB players’ counter offer to owners reportedly includes no more salary cuts

© Kim Klement | 2018 Feb 13

NEW YORK — Baseball players appeared likely to propose increasing the number of regular-season games this year while holding to their demand for full prorated salaries, The Associated Press reported Wednesday night.

A day after Major League Baseball proposed a sliding scale of salary slashing for a pandemic-delayed season in ballparks without fans, the union held a conference call that included its executive board, player representatives and alternate player representatives, The Associated Press said.

Many players were angered by the proposal teams made Tuesday, The Associated Press said. It was unclear when the union will respond to MLB’s plan, it said.

Stars Mike Trout and Gerrit Cole would lose the most under MLB’s plan, about 77 percent f the $36 million each they were set to be paid this season. In all, there are 133 players whose contracts call for salaries of $10 million or more, not including shares of signing bonuses.

A big-leaguer earning $1 million or less would keep at least 43 percent of his salary under the six-tier salary-cut scale. That includes a share of $200 million earmarked for players that is contingent on the postseason being completed. About 460 of approximately 900 players on rosters and injured lists when spring training was stopped in mid March due to the coronavirus make $1 million or less.

Angels outfielder Trout and Yankees pitcher Cole would be cut to about $8 million each.

“Interesting strategy of making the best most marketable players potentially look like the bad guys,” Brewers pitcher Brett Anderson posted on Twitter.

The players association called the proposal “extremely disappointing.” The union has argued that players already accepted a cut to prorated shares of their salaries in a March 26 agreement and should not have to bargain again.

MLB would like to start the season around the Fourth of July in empty ballparks and proposed an 82-game regular-season schedule. It says teams would lose billions of dollars by playing with no ticket money and gate-related revenue.

“This season is not looking promising,” Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman posted on Twitter. “Keeping the mind and body ready regardless.”

Union head Tony Clark has not commented publicly on MLB’s proposal and has said very little publicly since late March.

A season with more games would lead to players earning a higher percentage of their original salaries. MLB says that without fans, each additional game would result in a $640,000 loss.

Brewers chairman Mark Attanasio told the Greater Milwaukee Committee on Tuesday “the be-careful-what-you-wish-for part is hours every day.”

“It’s got to come together very quickly or we won’t be able to, we will just run out of time,” he said. “To pay players at a full contract rate, pretty much 90 percent of that would go to pay them and wouldn’t cover any other costs.”


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