Major League Baseball owners have approved a proposal that outlines the structure of a potential 2020 season. However, uncertainties abound, and one of the biggest uncertainties is whether the players association (MLBPA) will accept the owners' proposal or even anything close to it.
One former player of note thinks that no negotiations should be required and that the players should accept MLB's opening offer in order so that other logistical challenges may be addressed. Here's part of what former Yankees slugger Mark Teixeira said on ESPN on Tuesday:
"Players need to understand that if they turn this deal down and shut the sport down, they're not making a cent. I would rather make pennies on the dollar and give hope to people and play baseball than not make anything and lose an entire year off their career."
With the hopes of reopening spring training in June and beginning regular season play in early July,. However, because that's never been the salary structure in MLB. Basically, MLB is asking players to take a hit during lean times, but presumably they won't be amenable to an even split of revenues during boom times (i.e., MLB isn't going to pay players extra when profits are high). Our own Matt Snyder has laid out .
As for Teixeira, he made more than $200 million in salary during his playing career, so his words might ring a bit hollow for players still in search of their first big contract. Unstated in Teixeira's comments is why the owners aren't obligated to make a better-faith opening offer. If it's essential to open the season as soon as possible, then the first step is for the owners to come out with something north of a low-ball proposal, which is what this is.
All that said, Teixeira is probably right when he suggests there would be significant public blowback should owners and players reach an impasse in negotiations, and history suggests that fans would mostly blame the players. Either way, fraught days are ahead for baseball.