Looking at some of the issues in the MLB money struggle

A developing story over the past few days has been the talks between all parties in the MLB in an attempt to get the 2020 season underway. On Monday, owners approved a plan and sent it to the players union for negotiations. But right now, the issue seems to be the money struggle between the league, players, and owners.

In March, players agreed to get paid on a prorated basis. Meaning, if the league plays half a season, players get half their salary. However, owners want to renegotiate that due to the unlikeliness of fans in the stands this season.

Owners are concerned about the money that they will lose without fans in the stands. Are they correct? Yes, they will lose a lot of money without fans. The issue here is that owners don’t want to pay the prorated salaries because they don’t want to lose money.

These owners are billionaires. They have billions of dollars in the bank. What they seem to fail to realize is that this is likely a one-season ordeal, and assuming a vaccine to coronavirus comes out at the end of 2020 as planned, then fans will be in the stands in 2021. The owners will undoubtedly make up the money lost within a few years. Since there is already a prorated deal in place, it shouldn’t be changed because that is unfair to players.

Well, you can say that most players are millionaires already so they can be paid pennies for a season. Wrong. You can’t significantly change a deal that’s been in place since the beginning of the shutdown. Owners can afford the salaries for a season. They just don’t want to pay them. And not all players are millionaires anyway. More players than you would think are on minimum deals.

So, with no fans in the stands, teams will generate revenue almost solely from TV deals. Teams like the Yankees or Mets will be just fine from TV deals since their regional deals are in a big market with a lot of fans. They make a ton of money from YES and SNY, respectively. Also, those two teams will make money off of nationally televised games.

The teams that will struggle the most are the struggling teams in the MLB. If teams aren’t winning games, then not as many people will want to watch. A team like the Yankees will make a lot more from their TV deals than a team like the Marlins or the Orioles. Struggling teams are rarely on national television and that lowers their revenue.

However, a positive with the TV deals is that the best teams have the highest payrolls so that they will be generating more TV revenue and using that for salaries. But, the struggling teams will still hurt more. The Marlins will be furloughing at least 40% of their full-time employees. They just can’t afford to pay them all.

So, this is the big hang-up in negotiations about a 2020 season. Health and safety concerns seemed to be getting addressed, and that’s an important thing. Hopefully, all sides can get the economic issues figured out.

No 2020 season would kill baseball.

If there were to be no 2020 season, it would kill baseball. I can guarantee you that a lot of casual fans will stop watching if the 2020 season gets canceled, similar to what happened to the 1994 World Series. That season was shortened from a strike.

And speaking of strikes, the MLB CBA expires after the 2021 season. With that being said, we may see a strike in the winter or spring of 2022.

That’s why the league mustn’t let the 2020 season slip away. Canceling because of safety concerns is one thing, but canceling because of money would be devastating to the sport.