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MLBPA Balks at Salary Reduction

Owners want to renegotiate salaries if the season is played without fans

Posted on
Apr 23, 2020

If the MLB season is played in empty  stadiums, owners are saying they will have to renegotiate salaries. The only problem is the Players Union says they already have a deal in place. Find out more below from Newsday.

Getting Major League Baseball back on the field this summer is going to take more than a successful battle against the coronavirus if those inside the sport plan to keep fighting among themselves.

Union chief Tony Clark took issue Monday with the suggestion that players’ salaries for a truncated season would need to be renegotiated if games were hosted at neutral sites, with no fans, as relayed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo after last week’s conversation with Mets COO Jeff Wilpon.

“Players recently reached an agreement with Major League Baseball that outlines economic terms for resumption of play, which included significant salary adjustments and a number of other compromises,” Clark said in an email statement. “That negotiation is over.

“We’re now focused on discussing ways to get back on the field under conditions that prioritize the health and well-being of players and their families, coaches, umpires, team staff and fans.”

On March 26, MLB and the union agreed that players would receive a full year’s credit for service time, even if the season is canceled, as well as a $170 million advance on salaries that runs through May 24. Also included was a provision that called for contracts to be prorated based on the number of games played.

But there also is some fine print, designed to address the scenario without fans, such as the one centered around Arizona’s spring training facilities — and recently endorsed by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top expert on infectious diseases.

According to a person familiar with the agreement, the clause reads: “The office of the commissioner and players association will discuss in good faith the economic feasibility of playing games in the absence of spectators or at appropriate substitute neutral sites.”

That’s a critical detail from the owners’ perspective, as commissioner Rob Manfred has said that roughly 40% of a team’s revenue comes from the gate, which includes tickets, concessions and parking.

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