MLBPA expected to propose deferred payments on prorated salaries in 2020 season negotiations, report says

As part of the ongoing negotiations with Major League Baseball over the structure of the 2020 season, the Players Association (MLBPA) has proposed deferring portions of their prorated 2020 salaries, reports Chuck Garfien of NBC Sports Chicago

The league is expected to make a new economic proposal to the players union when the sides meet on Tuesday. Owners initially proposed a 2020 revenue split, but for a variety of reasons that was a non-starter with players. MLB now seems ready to compromise on the 50-50 plan in its next proposal. Here’s more from Garfien: 

According to a source with knowledge of the situation, the league will make a proposal to the players’ union Tuesday that will be a compromise from the 50-50 revenue sharing split that had been floated earlier this month. This could serve as a starting point in negotiations from MLB’s side.

Meanwhile, the union is expected to propose a plan that allows players to receive their prorated salaries based on the number of games played, which was part of an agreement between the two sides finalized March 26. But a certain amount of money would be deferred to future years to help reduce the owners’ expenses for the 2020 season.

The 2020 season is on hold because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but both sides hope to begin regular season play in early July. A number of issues must be successfully negotiated before the league can move forward, and the matter of player compensation is perhaps the most challenging of those issues. Compounding matters is the tight negotiating window — players will need two to three weeks of resumed spring training, which means a restart of camps no later than the middle of June. 

Garfien’s report also suggests the players are not entrenched in their original position. As noted above, players agreed to prorate their 2020 salaries based on the number of games played, but owners pressed for further concessions in light of the reality that fans may not be able to attend games for much and perhaps all of the 2020 season. 

The positive takeaway is that there seems to be some forward momentum to talks. Should an agreement be reached in time, the 2020 season will likely entail a regular season of 82 games or so and an expanded postseason format that could involve as many as 14 teams.

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