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Report: MLB owners to counter players with 50-game proposal

MLB owners are set to make a counter to the players that is a significantly shortened season. We break down the latest news from the negotiations.

A general view of Charlotte Sports Park from the outfield of a Grapefruit League spring training game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox on March 11, 2020 in Port Charlotte, Florida. Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Major League Baseball players submitted an economics proposal to the owners on Sunday that called for a 114-game schedule, two years of expanded playoffs, and deferral of salaries if the playoffs were to be canceled. This came following the owners proposing an 82-game schedule with significant pay cuts, with higher earning players losing a larger percentage of their pay.

Reports from the owners’ side now have the owners upset with the players’ proposal, according to beat writer Bob Klapisch. And now they are coming back with something significantly smaller. Owners intend to propose a shorter schedule in the neighborhood of 50 games, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. The owners would concede on the players request for prorated salaries, rather than the percentages the owners previously proposal. However, as should be quite obvious, this would be a huge pay cut for the players.

Passan reported the owners are open to discussing alternatives to the shorter season. Of course, given 80-ish games is halfway between their current plans and what the players proposed, this is in part negotiating tactics. We want to land at position X, so we’ll just say we want position Y and figure you’ll meet halfway.

This has not been formerly proposed yet, so we’ll have to wait and see what kind of reaction we get from the players. There is talk of needing a deal done in the next week or so if the league will get started in early July, so things should be busy the next four days.