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MLB sends proposal, pissy letter to MLBPA

Owners appear to be trying to provoke a fight with players

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MLB has sent a new proposal to the MLBPA, per reports, with Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich saying it also includes a pissy letter (my description) from deputy commissioner Dan Halem that, from the quoted excerpts, seems designed to inflame and anger the players rather than get a deal done.

The owners latest proposal is a 72 game season with the players getting 70% of their pro-rated salaries, plus an extra 10% (making it 80%) if there is a full postseason. Under this scenario the players’ guarantee is basically the same as what they would get under the 48 game schedule owners have threatened to implement.

Players have been adamant about not moving off of getting the full pro-rated portion of their salaries — they have pointed out repeatedly that they already agreed to a pay cut when they agreed to their deals being reduced on a pro-rata basis, and that it is not reasonable to ask them to take yet another cut. Jeff Passan, examining the issue and the dollars, says he thinks that players are willing to die on that hill.

The players feel that they have the right, under the terms of the agreement reached this spring, to file a grievance if the owners play an unnecessarily abbreviated season, given that it provides that MLB will make an effort to schedule as many games as possible. If MLB says, we are going to play 25-30 fewer games than we proposed because you wouldn’t take bigger pay cuts, that’s a legitimate complaint for players.

Personally, the tone of the letter, as described, and the excerpts quoted, almost make me wonder if the intent isn’t to blow up the negotiations, so that the owners can unilaterally implement a 48 game schedule or something similar and say its the players’ fault.