With Major League Baseball continuing to search for a way to play the 2020 season around the spread of the novel coronavirus, one recent point of discussion has been player compensation. That conversation was spurred last week by an unlikely source: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who recalled a phone call he had with New York Mets COO Jeff Wilpon.
During the call, Wilpon told Cuomo that the players would need to take salary reductions if the league opts to play without fans -- presumably the only way a season can occur this year, if not until a vaccine is created and mass-produced. Wilpon's comments came despite the league and the union having already reached an agreement on that subject over the last month.
Predictably, union head Tony Clark did not agree with Wilpon's assessment of the situation. "Players recently reached an agreement with Major League Baseball that outlines economic terms for resumption of play, which included significant salary adjustments and a number of other compromises. That negotiation is over," Clark said, according to Ronald Blum of the Associated Press.
Of course, MLB and the union have plenty else to discuss over the coming weeks, as the two sides try to salvage what they can of the calendar year. Some star players, including Mike Trout and Clayton Kershaw, have pushed back against a plan that would isolate teams in Arizona for the duration of a season, citing the desire to avoid being separated from their families for months on end. Still, with so much money riding on the line, it stands to reason that Clark and commissioner Rob Manfred will continue to seek a solution that both sides find tolerable.
MLB was supposed to begin its season on March 26.