Jeff Passan is reporting that MLB is planning on submitting a new proposal to players that involves a significantly shortened season, but doesn’t ask players to take less than their pro-rated salaries. Passan suggests that the season would start in July in this scenario and involve teams playing around 50 games.
The MLBPA has been adamant that players are not going to agree to reductions to their salaries beyond pro-rating them based on games played by MLB, a provision that was agreed to in March. The initial proposal from owners had an 81 game schedule and pro-rated salaries, plus an additional sliding scale of reductions to player pay based on total salary. The players countered with a 114 game schedule and no additional reductions.
This new proposal by owners is clever in a way — it is agreeing with three players that there will be no addition reductions in salaries, as they wanted, but then cutting back on games to reduced what is paid to players. Still, agreeing to full pro-rated salaries is a significant move, and it may lead to the negotiations coming down to the number of games to be played, which is an easier gap to bridge.
UPDATE — Passan has an article up where he says that the plan won’t be to propose this, but they are considering unilaterally implementing a shorter schedule with pro-rated salaries if they can’t reach an agreement.