Now that the draft is over (though we’ll have more on that in the upcoming days), there is news about the negotiations between the players and MLB/owners. The last two proposals brought the two sides much closer together than the initial offers from each side.

The players wanted 100% prorated pay for 89 games in their last proposal. That was down 25 games from their previous offer. The owners made a bigger jump in their initial offer, going from approximately 60% prorated pay (sliding scale so it was different based on salary) to a straight 75% prorated pay over 76 games. They also made some concessions on the free agent side to help upcoming free agents. The basic difference was 13 games and 25% of prorated pay. Still far apart, but a lot closer than before. The negotiations are now continuing to close that gap.

According to Jon Heyman, the owners now will offer over 80% of prorated pay for a 72-game schedule. They’re also coming up on their offer of 50% prorated pay if there are no playoffs this year. Heyman doesn’t have the exact number, but it’s supposed to be significant.

The amount of money the players would get if the playoffs are played isn’t much more than before, though that’s depending on what the “over” means in over 80%. It’s at least 5% more (could be 10% more according to Karl Ravech), but with four fewer games. The real improvement here will be the significant increase if there aren’t playoffs. That guarantees the players that they will get much more money than before in case of a work stoppage. So it’s a slight increase in possible pay, but a major increase in the minimum pay.

With a 72-game schedule, the owners themselves are trying to avoid that minimum pay and go for the maximum. They want to get the season done as early as possible with full playoffs. I’m sure this offer won’t be accepted by the players, but it closes the gap even more and should put an agreement within reach.

As a side note, commissioner Rob Manfred has said that there will be baseball in 2020 and he has the ability to start the season without the two sides agreeing. That could force a much shorter schedule. The players would get full prorated pay, but it would obviously be a smaller amount if they only played something in the range of 50 games. So it benefits both sides to get a deal done.

UPDATE: Baseball America says that MLB has told teams to find sites for taxi squads. Details here


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