As we wait for the MLBPA and team owners to resolve their negotiations regarding the financials of a potential regular season, things in the world are tumultuous. The New York Yankees are no exception to this reality, and while the MLB has rejected a potential 114-game regular season, there seems to be no resolution in sight. What could happen might stain history for the foreseeable future, not that it won’t already, but a significantly shortened season seems to be where we are headed.
MLB has rejected the unionâ€™s 114-game regular season proposal. They plan no counter. They are sititng on essentially implementing a 48-54-game season for full prorated salaries or 82-ish at less than prorated, sources tell The Post
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) June 3, 2020
A season in the 48-54 game range seems realistic at this point, as the two sides continue to argue over a fair salary for players. Minor leaguers across the country have been released and will not earn the remainder of their contract. Baseball was struggling before the latest pandemic, but it will take years for it to recover after the financial hit it has taken.
It is still possible that a regular-season won’t even happen, which would forgo the 2020 contracts for all players. The Yankees will be put in a tough spot as they’d be in line to lose multiple players without any evidence they can return from injury. Options like James Paxton will be tough to extend, having returned from surgery due to a cyst in his lower back, having no sample size to work off of might force the Yankees to let him walk in free agency. Then you have the J.A. Happ situation, where a player is earning $17.5 million but was retained due to his depth quality and Luis Severino missing the entire campaign due to Tommy John surgery.
Skipping over an entire regular season is something I never believed I would see in my lifetime, and most players would probably say the same. However, the financials are crucial, as playing without fans will hurt the overall income of the league, and players will have to settle for a lower price. Recent proposals would cut salaries like Gerrit Cole’s, from $36 million down to about $8 million, in favor of lower-income players.
If the two sides can conclude within the next few weeks, baseball could be up and running again by July, but at this point, it does not seem likely.