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OC Register: MLB owners: Season to be shortened if no labor deal by Monday


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By RONALD BLUM AP Baseball Writer

JUPITER, Fla. — Major League Baseball said Wednesday that the 2022 season will be shortened if no labor agreement has been reached by the end of Monday.

Management had maintained that was the deadline for a deal that would allow the season to start as scheduled on March 31. Players have not said whether they accept that time frame, and there remains a sense both sides are awaiting more time pressure to force more major moves by the other.

The declaration from MLB came after another day of minor moves. Major League Baseball’s only new offer to players Wednesday was to increase the minimum salary by an additional $10,000 per year.

MLB upped its proposed minimum for this year to $640,000, with the figure rising by $10,000 in each additional season of a five-year agreement.

Players have asked for $775,000 in 2022, with $30,000 jumps each season.

There appeared to be little or no movement on the key issue of luxury tax thresholds and rates or the size of the bonus pool for pre-arbitration players

New York Mets pitcher Max Scherzer and Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole were involved in the talks on the third straight day of bargaining.

Free agent pitcher Andrew Miller and Yankees reliever Zack Britton also joined the negotiations on the 84th day of the lockout and were alongside Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor and Houston catcher Jason Castro. Those six are among the eight members of the union’s executive subcommittee, which supervises collective bargaining.

Texas infielder Marcus Semien and Boston pitcher James Paxton, the other two members, have not been seen during the talks at Roger Dean Stadium, the vacant spring training home of the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals.

Britton, Cole, Paxton, Scherzer and Semien are represented by Scott Boras, baseball’s most powerful agent.

Teams have told the union they will not decrease revenue sharing and will not add new methods for players to accrue service time, which players said are needed to prevent teams from holding players back to delay free agency.


Sometime soon, lockout costs become real: Scherzer would forfeit $232,975 for each regular-season day lost, and Cole $193,548.

Based on last year’s base salaries that totaled just over $3.8 billion, major league players would combine to lose $20.5 million for each day wiped off the 186-day regular-season schedule.

A player at management’s proposed $630,000 minimum would lose $3,387 for each day he’s not on a big league roster, the amount rising to $4,167 under the union’s offer of a $775,000 minimum.

While medical insurance would expire after March 31 for players who were in the major leagues when last season ended, the union would pay COBRA payments to continue their coverage and also would cover the subsidy usually paid for the medical coverage of former players.

It’s harder to calculate what owners of the 30 teams would lose if games are lost, but a similar amount is likely. While players received about half of industry revenue that reached a high of $9.7 billion in 2019 (a percentage that includes spending on draft picks and international amateurs), they are paid during the regular season, and teams receive a substantial percentage of revenue from the postseason.

For players, the cost is clear: Each earns 1/186th of his base salary each day.

Scherzer and Cole are on the union’s eight-man executive subcommittee, which supervises the negotiations. Among others in the union’s leadership group, the daily price comes to $172,043 for Lindor, $134,409 for Semien, $75,269 for Britton, $32,258 for Paxton and $20,161 for Castro. Miller, the other member, is among the hundreds of players who remained unsigned heading into the transaction freeze that began with the lockout.

Veterans are likely to have savings to rely on. Scherzer last season finished a $210 million, seven-year contract he signed with Washington. That deal included deferred money that called for him to receive $15 million each July 1 from 2022 to 2028, though the pandemic-shortened 2020 season will reduce the amount slightly.

Cole earned $25,895,061 in major league pay from 2013 to 2019 before signing a $324 million, nine-year contract with the Yankees that raised his earnings through last season to $71,228,394. Lindor has earned $41,548,655 and Semien $33,714,217.

Stoppage costs would compound in future seasons due to the major league service time that wouldn’t be accrued. Once 15 days of the regular season are missed, the free-agent eligibility of some players would be delayed by one year unless management agrees to give credit in an eventual agreement, which it hasn’t done in the past.

That would delay free-agent eligibility for the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani from 2023 to 2024, Pete Alonso from 2024 to 2025, Jake Cronenworth from 2025 to 2026 and Jonathan India from 2026 to 2027.

Others in danger of delayed free agency after 15 missed days – players currently with major league service ending in an even number of years with no additional days – include Tejay Antone, Jordan Hicks, Cristian Javier, Brad Keller, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Chris Paddack, Brady Singer, Andrew Vaughn and Garrett Whitlock.

In Lindor’s case, because of deferred compensation in his contract, he would lose money both this year and a decade from now. He would forfeit $145,161 each day from the $27 million he is owed this season and $26,882 each day from the $5 million due on July 1, 2032.

Players also might find it more difficult to reach provisions in their contracts to guarantee future seasons triggered by statistics such as plate appearances, games and innings, but the sides have agreed to prorate those in past settlements.

Clubs would lose broadcast revenue and ticket money, though the impact is somewhat uneven. Some teams generate less revenue from April games than they produce in the summer, and there likely are different contractual arrangements regarding the flow of broadcast fees, credits, refunds and delayed/forfeited payments.

In addition, a large percentage of broadcast revenue is for the postseason. MLB gave the union a slide two years ago that contracts called for $787 million in media money from the 2020 postseason: $370 million from Fox, $310 million from Turner, $27 million from ESPN, $30 million from MLB Network and $50 million from international and other.

The prospect of an extended stoppage to some degree is likely to have depressed ticket sales among fans wary of purchasing tickets for games that may not be played.

And there is no public knowledge of debt financing among the clubs and how much liabilities increased during a pandemic that caused a huge revenue loss.

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25 minutes ago, Dtwncbad said:

Taylor are you OK with the word BOYcott or should we substitute “non-binarycott”?

(Crap I used the word substitute and that is very sexually insensitive—it has “tit” right in the middle of it.)

Some teachers may find that word offense for other reasons?

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19 hours ago, Dtwncbad said:

Taylor are you OK with the word BOYcott or should we substitute “non-binarycott”?

(Crap I used the word substitute and that is very sexually insensitive—it has “tit” right in the middle of it.)

I identify as someone who misses baseball when it’s not being played.

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On 2/24/2022 at 9:22 AM, HanfordGuy said:

So if the the MLB loses 15 games, the Angels keep Ohtani for another year at $6MM? Interesting.

This assumes that MLB makes no agreement with players about lost service time. 

Also, he’d be arbitration eligible again if he’s not a free agent. It would depend what kind of season he has the year before, but it would be a lot more than $6M. 

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