As Major League Baseball mulls a return, there is yet another potential roadblock that stands in its way.
Per ESPN‘s Jeff Passan, multiple MLB owners have said that the cost of playing games with players being paid prorated salary would be higher than the cost of not playing games.
This presents another logistical hoop the league will need to jump through to get the 2020 MLB season underway. Would players be willing to take even further paycuts in the scenario that they have to play and live in isolation from the rest of the world for several months?
The MLB Players Association already reached an agreement with the league in late March on how important issues like salary would play out based on the pandemic. Passan mentions that the Players Association refuted any notion that owners could request further pay-cuts from players based on the deal already agreed upon.
Of course, this is one of several present issues that stand in the way of the season getting underway. While several plans have been laid out to resume play amid the COVID-19 pandemic, all of them have legitimate logistical issues that stand in the way of them happening.
The latest leaked plan includes games being played in Texas, Arizona and Florida. All plans so far have been based on players and coaches being isolated during the entire season, which has elicited some negative responses from some of the game’s best players.
Passan notes that Commissioner Rob Manfred included in a letter to employees of the league that he does not think the sport will have to wait until 2021 to make a return, saying: “I fully anticipate baseball will return this season”.
Manfred’s quote came the same day that several teams committed to paying employees through the end of May. But even though the promise of a season would seem to influence owners to feel better about paying employees now, that may not be the case if owners truly think they could be better off financially with no season.
Passan mentions that this could all be posturing by MLB owners for any further negotiations with the Player’s Association before the league’s plan for the season becomes official. It is not clear when exactly this will be, but with several plans leaked during the last month, it feels like the league is still weighing its options before committing to one.
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