As negotiations between Major League Baseball and the players association continue, Buster Olney of ESPN reports that there is a group of owners who are willing to forgo a 2020 season if it means a reconstruction of baseball's financial model.
While not explicitly said, that would directly imply the creation of a revenue sharing model and a salary cap.
Earlier this month, owners voted in favor of a proposal for a 50-50 revenue split with the players for 2020, but they did not both to submit it to the union after it garnered an immediate negative response and it was clear it would be shot down. The union has long been against capping salaries, with this being the cause for the 1994-1995 player's strike.
It has been nearly one week since owners and players began negotiations to work out a plan to compensate players for the 2020 season, and not much progress has been made. Owners submitted their first proposal on Tuesday, calling for everyone to take a cut on their prorated salaries and for the game's highest paid players to take significant losses. The players were not in favor and counteredwith an offer to pay them their full prorated salaries and for a longer regular season to be played.
The collective bargaining agreement between the two sides expires after the 2021 season. Regardless of if an agreement is struck to have a 2020 campaign, the new CBA negotiations are expected to be very contentious, especially if the owners insist on revenue sharing.
Baseball is the only of the four major North American sports leagues to not have a salary cap.
The two sides are also apart on health issues in their negotiations, with players arguing that more frequent testing could mean more leniency in other proposed protocols, like a ban on showers and hydrotherapy tubs at the stadium.
MLB originally hoped to have teams restart spring training on June 10 and have the regular season start on July 4. It initially set a June 1 soft deadline to get a deal done, though Joel Sherman reports that both sides have until next weekend, or a little after, to make a deal and still restart spring training by mid-June.
It would take at least eight of the 30 owners to prevent a potential deal.
Failing to play a season in 2020 because of labor issues would have devastating long-term impact for the game. However, recently-retired All-Star Adrian Gonzalez told the Los Angeles Times this weekend that taking a bad deal could hurt future generations of players, too.
You cant just give up everything to get something going and destroy the whole business, Gonzalez said.
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