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MLB makes proposal for 76-game shortened season, per report

This is basically the same financial proposal but over a different amount of games.

2020 Grape Fruit League Media Availability Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Per ESPN’s Karl Ravech, MLB has submitted a new proposal to the players’ union, offering to pay them 75 percent of their prorated salaries to play a 76-game season, along with increased playoff pool money (roughly $400 million, up from about $200 million in the initial proposal). and the elimination of draft-pick compensation being attached to free agents this offseason (an offer that could actually hurt the players since it would prevent free agents from accepting a one-year qualifying offer, which is usually worth somewhere in the high eight figures).

According to The Athletic’s Evan Drellich, the MLBPA considers this offer to be worse than the last one, even with the increased playoff money, because there’s greater risk for them if the postseason isn’t played, and as The New York Times’ James Wagner and others have pointed out, they’ll essentially be playing for the same salaries they would have been in any of MLB’s other proposals — the pay cuts are just staggered with the amount of games so that they achieve the same end salary. While MLB’s initial proposal featured tiered paycuts depending on players’ salaries, every proposal has featured the union as a whole earning roughly 33 percent of what it was initially set to earn.

While one would think that the MLBPA could simply reject the league’s proposed health protocols if it is wholly unsatisfied with the league’s plan — after all, we are still in the middle of a COVID-19 pandemic that isn’t exactly slowing down — the league seems to think that it has the right to unilaterally institute a season around 50 games or so in which the players earn their full prorated salaries. While that won’t be ideal for the players or the fans, it seems to be the scenario that’s most likely right now if we’re going to see an MLB season in 2020.