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Elephant Rumblings: Players ‘very disappointed’ by latest MLB economic proposal

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2017 Major League Baseball World Series Game Two: Houston Astros v. Los Angeles Dodgers
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred vs. MLBPA union chief Tony Clark

Good morning, Athletics Nation!

Tuesday brought a barrage of news around baseball, as the sport continues to figure out how to proceed amid the coronavirus pandemic. Leading the way were negotiations between MLB and the players union, as the league presented its latest economic proposal to the players.

However, the proposal left the players “very disappointed,” report Evan Drellich and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. In their full writeup, they “all but guaranteed” the MLBPA would reject the offer, and cited one agent who said the players were “livid” over the terms of the proposal.

After a previous plan based on a revenue-split was deemed a complete non-starter by the players, this latest version involves a sliding scale in which the highest earners would take the biggest cuts, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

Jesse Rogers of ESPN offered the following numbers to help illustrate the effects of the league’s proposal: “Under MLB proposal to players, a player making $35 mil in 2020 would make about $7.8 mil. A player making 10 mil would get about 2.9 mil and a player making a mil would make $434k.”

Jeff Passan of ESPN tweeted an alternate version of that math, taking into account the fact that players already agreed to prorate their salaries based on the number of games that actually get played (number on left is the original prorated salary, number on right is what they’d get under the latest proposal):

$285K —> $262K

$506K —> $434K

$1.01M —> $736K

$2.53M —> $1.64M

$5.06M —> $2.95M

$7.59M —> $4.05M

$10.1M —> $5.15M

$12.7M —> $6.05M

$15.2M —> $6.95M

$17.7M —> $7.84M

On the bright side, some reports indicate that other topics of discussion are going better than the one about financials. Travis Sawchik of FiveThirtyEight reports that “players are open to expanding the playoffs and geographic-based divisions this year, and much of MLB’s proposed health-safety protocols,” though Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times tempers the enthusiasm on the latter issue by noting that a “big gap remains” on safety protocols. Sawchik also notes that some players think one answer to ease the economic impasse could be to try to fit in more games to maximize revenue, whether in the regular season or playoffs.

Meanwhile, closer to home, the A’s announced massive cuts to their own personnel in order to save money while games aren’t being played. They will furlough many full-time employees and cut the pay of others (by up to 33%, reports Alex Coffey of The Athletic), and they will stop paying their minor league players at the end of May. That latter move to end minor league salaries likely won’t save the organization much more than $1 million total.

And so the roller coaster continues. Will the league and players agree on how to split up their piles of money? Will the pandemic itself calm down enough to allow resumption of sports? Will we have a 2020 MLB season? Every day we get closer to final answers on these questions.

A’s Coverage:

MLB News & Interest:

Best of Twitter:

Update on A’s minor league manager Webster Garrison and his fight against coronavirus

Read John Fisher’s letter regarding the team’s furloughs, which was emailed out to the press Tuesday late afternoon

Slusser doesn’t mince words in her reaction to the A’s furloughs

One A’s minor leaguer is looking out for his peers

Shannon Stewart wasn’t the only one to break up a bid for history by Curt Schilling

Wrapping things up with a happy Rickey thought