REPORT: Economic Proposal Involves Pay Cuts on a Sliding Scale (UPDATES: Includes Details on Pay Cuts)

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REPORT: Economic Proposal Involves Pay Cuts on a Sliding Scale (UPDATES: Includes Details on Pay Cuts)

Chicago Cubs

After a week+ of signals from the players and their surrogates that a revenue sharing plan for the 2020 season was not going to be acceptable, the owners have reportedly taken a much more advisable tack (well, to the extent you believe any pay cuts at all are necessary).

The economic plan submitted today by MLB will reportedly include pay cuts on a sliding scale, akin to those many organizations have undertaken with other employees – i.e., the biggest earners take the biggest percentage cuts, the lowest earners take much smaller cuts.

From USA Today:

Depending on the depth of the cuts, this could wind up a better deal overall for the players than the revenue share, which exposed the players to significant risk if, for example, the postseason wound up getting cancelled. From where I sit: the players are taking the health risk, and they should not also be asked to take a huge financial risk.

The particulars on the cuts are not yet out, nor are any other details on the plan. My guess is we’ll get a drip-drip through tonight, and I’ll update accordingly.

UPDATE: Strictly speaking, we knew the presentation to the players was going to be today, but I don’t know that it has yet been characterized as a “meeting,” for what it’s worth:

UPDATE 2: Heyman has tended to be pretty rosy on this stuff, so it’s worth noting that when he hears from the player side (well, likely from the player side) that there’s still work to do, it probably dampens the enthusiasm a little:

UPDATE 3: Just heard Jesse Rogers tell Waddle and Silvy that the pay cut proposed for the top earners is upwards of 30% (that’s 30% off of a half-year’s salary). So, for one example I’ll offer, instead of making $16.5 million this year, Anthony Rizzo would make only about $5.78 million. Still a lot of money, sure, but a small fraction of what he was expecting to make this year, and several million shaved off his prorated pay.

UPDATE 4: Not that you’d expect the PA to come out with a “dang, this proposal is great!” – it’s a negotiation, after all – but this sounds worse than I was hoping the proposal would look:

If indeed the cuts at the top of the scale are 30% … that just seems like such an overreach by the owners. I reserve final judgment until we seem more about the rest of the proposal (i.e., the other terms and other dollars), but this looks rough.

UPDATE 5: I guess I do want to offer some general context from a former litigator; with the union’s negotiations now being run through a lawyer, it’s pretty standard for the response to *any* offer to be: holy shit this is so awful how dare you insult me like this you suck. It’s always over the top. It’s annoying, and it’s a not-insignificant part of why I left that profession. But it’s part of the process.

So anyway, you do have to keep that grain of salt in mind:

My guess is, based on that 30% report, the union is indeed really disappointed. That sounds like a huge ask by the owners. An overreach, even. But just because you’re seeing sabers rattle like this doesn’t necessarily mean this isn’t all expected behavior.

UPDATE 6: That point squares with this:

The owners, le sigh, were always going to propose something the players were not going to accept immediately. So they fight. I know I should have expected exactly this, though I do wish there were pleasant surprises today instead of more of the same bullshit we’ve seen in the baseball labor world for the past four years.

UPDATE 7: A good point here:

UPDATE 8 (Michael): And just for some further context on the proposed cuts …

UPDATE 9 (Michael): “The sides are determined not to let economics stand in the way of a season.” Please, oh, please, let that be true.

UPDATE 10: The full rundown of pay cuts:

In other words, under this proposal, the majority of players would actually receive somewhat close to their prorated pay. But the higher-paid players? They would be receiving muuuuuch less than prorated pay. I mean, some of those cuts at the top of the pay scale are massive.

UPDATE 11: This seems a pretty important “oh by the way”:

So in the unlikely, but possible, event that fans are back in the stands late in the year, that would lead to more compensation for players. As it should.



Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.