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 $1 million total.
And so the roller coaster continues. Will the league and players agree on how to split up their piles of money? Will the pandemic itself calm down enough to allow resumption of sports? Will we have a 2020 MLB season? Every day we get closer to final answers on these questions.
- Slusser: A’s institute significant furloughs, salary reductions ($)
- Hickey: Athletics Will Furlough Workers Beginning in June; Pay Cuts Await Others
- Hickey: A’s Won’t Be Paying Minor League Players After May 31, but Those Players Can’t Move
- Coffey: A’s employees informed of furloughs and pay cuts, minor leaguers to lose stipend ($$$)
- Seamheads podcast: Taking a look at the A’s financial situation (Apple) | Spotify | Stitcher
- Portside podcast: Guest is Paul Muyskens, Stockton’s official scorer
- Hooks podast: Guest is Dominic Cotroneo, broadcaster and son of Vince Cotroneo
- Hall: Oakland A’s to furlough some full-time employees, including scouts, per reports
- Hall: Oakland A’s will stop paying minor leaguers at end of May
- Hall: Japan’s NPB announces June 19 start to 2020 season, featuring a few former A’s farmhands
MLB News & Interest:
- Nightengale: MLB owners sending latest plan to MLBPA that includes sliding pay scale for players
- Lennon: This week is a big one for MLB, Players Association
- Langs: Schools with the most first-round Draft picks
- Mayo: From forgotten pitching prospect to Silver Slugger (Charlie Blackmon)
- Byrne: 2010 Top 10: Any Future Hall Of Famers? How Many Busts?
- Bynre: Did The Mets Rob The Astros?
- Today in Baseball History
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
This had been expected by several scouts I had spoken to, but what a terrible shame: Make use of these immensely knowledgeable people’s skills through the draft - and then furlough them. I applaud those clubs who will continue to take care of their scouts throughout this time. https://t.co/aBIA9wCtJ1— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) May 26, 2020
One A’s minor leaguer is looking out for his peers
For any minor league player that is looking to make money during this time, feel free to message me about working on @ProCoPlus— Ryan Gridley (@GRIDsquad) May 27, 2020
I will do everything in my power to help you make ends meet
Shannon Stewart wasn’t the only one to break up a bid for history by Curt Schilling
May 26, 2001: Padres’ Ben Davis breaks up Curt Schilling’s (@gehrig38) perfect game on a drag bunt w/ the DBacks up 2-0 in the 8th.— This Day In Sports Clips (@TDISportsClips) May 26, 2020
DBacks manager Bob Brenly later called the move “chicken.” Schilling finished the game with a three-hitter and Arizona won 3-1. pic.twitter.com/bnqHlbIzVg
Wrapping things up with a happy Rickey thought
On this day in 1977: An 18-year-old Rickey Henderson helped the Modesto A’s tie a California League record with 15 stolen bases in a 13-12 win over the Fresno Giants. Henderson stole seven bags in the game, matching a league record set by Lee Mazzilli two years earlier. pic.twitter.com/epS9z8YQL3— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) May 26, 2020