Chicago Cubs: Breakdown of MLBs latest offer and next moves
MLB made yet another offer to the Chicago Cubs and MLBPA. With each successive fail of an offer, Manfred and the owners just keep making it worse.
So Cubs fans, as a kid, did you ever try to push the same poles of two magnets together? If not, trust me, the negotiations between the owners and the MLBPA are what that would be like. Except that the attractions, in this case, are REALLY big. However, while this new proposal won’t fly, there could be reasonable hope for Chicago Cubs baseball this summer.
The latest from MLB is:
72-game season starting July 14
80% guarantee of their prorated salaries with a postseason
70% prorated salaries with no postseason.
Deadline is Sunday to accept 72-game schedule
29-man rosters for the first month
Players also have opt-out
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Players as you’d expect are not thrilled. Here’s why. This is the sixth offer, which has ranged from 48 games to 72 games, a plethora of salary proposals that deviate from the original March agreement and require an actuary to calculate the impact on players.
This latest proposal would likely have players lose significantly salary from the original 82 game proposal back in March. Put another way; players would make about the same with the new 72 game proposal as they would if they played 50 games with full prorated salaries.
So 72 games, 50 games, whatever, MLB and the owners haven’t moved one dime closer to the players. To fans, it might seem like they have. But they haven’t. So given this intransigence, why would the players move first?
On top of that, MLB Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem sent a scorching letter to the MLBPA accusing them of negotiating in bad faith. Not exactly a tactic you would use at a sensitive point in negotiations, is it?
I can’t wait for Sunday’s deadline. Maybe we’ll see some movement before then. Perhaps the Sunday deadline is just a feint. Or maybe just fans should call MLB in New York on Monday and tell them to stop screwing around.
Let’s be clear. The issue is prorated salaries. Always has been. The owners have kicked themselves since they agreed to that back in March. They have made half a dozen offers that try to get out from under that agreement.
That all said, MLB did move in other ways towards the MLBPA position. MLB agreed to MLBPA’s player opt-out, the expanded playoff scenario, and MLB seems to have conceded that the prorated salary proposal is the way to go. That’s closer, but it’s not far enough.
What should the MLBPA here? It seems like they have a “Kennedy” decision to make. Ignore the Halem language like Kennedy did with the second Khrushchev letter, and move towards the MLB position. It is perhaps moving away from 100% prorated salary to 95%, over the same 72 games. That could be a huge risk for the MLBPA to take. But then again, so was Kennedy’s decision in 1962.