As the MLB Players Association and MLB sit down over the next few weeks to resolve potential roadblocks towards restarting baseball season in early-July, one thing is becoming less clear: whether we will see any Mariners games in 2020.
Last weekend, the owners, including Mariners owners John Stanton, voted to approve the proposal they will formally submit to the players union this week. There is just one problem: the owners are pulling a bait-and-switch scam towards the agreement the two sides agreed to months ago.
Back in March, in order to ensure that players would receive their service time needed to hit free agency, they agreed that if there was a 2020 season, their salaries would be prorated over the number of games actually played. Simply put, if you were supposed to make $10 million in 2020 and the season was cut to 81 games, your salary would be $5 million for 2020.
The proposal in front of the MLBPA calls for an 82 game season, basically half of the normal 162 game season. But now MLB owners want to cry poor and claim that because they “didn’t know fans wouldn’t be allowed to be in the stands”, they would lose money under the original agreement.
Instead, MLB wants to split the overall revenue with the players 50/50. It’s a savvy move by the owners because, on the surface, it seems fair. But any amount of digging or basic understanding of math will tell you it is a worse deal for the players.
We have already watched MLB’s greed cut the MLB Draft to 5 rounds to save each team roughly $1 million each. Now, they are back for more of the money they already promised to the players 6 weeks ago.
The MLBPA has already said they will not accept the revenue plan of the owners and the owners are now claiming they are not willing to honor their original agreement. This all paints a very worrisome picture to those that want baseball to return in 2020 as the standoff is just one of the many large roadblocks left to climb.
Fans will, of course, cry that players are being greedy. They’ll do this because that is what they are conditioned to believe. Everybody who thinks they could have been a pro athlete with the right breaks will scoff at them, pull useless statistics about how much more the average pro player makes compared to the average person. But ignore these numbers, because they overlook one critical factor: humanity.
Players are humans too. If any boss tried to back out of a pay agreement with you at the last minute, you’d be irate. Yelling at millionaires who are being screwed by billionaires is a fool’s errand. Never forget that not a single MLB owner is living paycheck to paycheck. They do not need the money they are trying to steal from the players. They aren’t going to lose money this year and even if they did, they have more than enough personal wealth to cover those losses.
At the end of the day, the players and ownership had a deal. It wasn’t a particularly great one for the players, but an agreement was reached. Calling players out for wanting their original agreement to be honored is flat out stupid. A deal is a deal and the idea of billionaires trying to cry poor and pass the blame onto their employees disgust me to the core.
So, we don’t know if the Mariners will play baseball in 2020. But if they don’t, don’t bother calling Marco Gonzales or Kyle Seager selfish. Perhaps point the finger at Mariners ownership, who backed out of a deal at the 23rd hour to chase money they absolutely do not need.