MLB: Latest Baseball Plan could hit a snag today, the latest

William Parlee

The New York Yankees owners and the owners of the other 30 MLB teams had conference call yesterday in which the owners approved the latest MLB plan to start a baseball season.  Today the plan will be presented to the Baseball Players Association union for their approval.

The new plan includes a proposal to cut player’s salaries by as much as 50% to makeup for the loss of revenue caused by a season cut in half by the coronavirus.  Therein lies the problem that could cause the entire plan to be rejected by the players.  Head of the union ex-Yankee Tony Clark said yesterday that “a system that restricts player pay based on revenue is a salary cap period.”

MLB says: it’s not a salary cap. “We’re not trying to regulate payrolls; we’re not trying to set a precedent, none of the above.”  MLBPA Executive Director Clark says that it is a salary cap and says the revenue-sharing plan is a nonstarter for the players’ association.  The players are expected to accept the other proposals in the plan to start the season, but this one sticky wicket could stall the plan until this one issue can be ironed out. 

Although all the details of MLB’s plan have not been released, it appears that the plan will call for about 80-85 games for a regular season with a greatly expanded postseason that will take the postseason into November.  It will also call for a universal DH.  It will not look like a regular baseball season in that the games will be played in three geographic regions, East, Central, and West in home parks where possible.  One plan calls for teams to play their traditional rivals within the division and to play against the opposing league’s teams within that same division.

Today could be a huge day for baseball fans everywhere.  If the players can come together and approve the plan, it will set the wheels in motion to start a baseball season by July 1.  If the players reject the plan it will put the brakes on the plan and could end the season before it starts.  Many fans see this as MLB millionaires arguing with MLB billionaires and just want them to compromise to get the season going.