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NEW PROPOSAL BY BASEBALL OWNERS TO CREATE MORE IRE?
Published October 24, 1994
"The salary-cap proposal that triggered the strike that killed the World Series is about to become even less appealing to the players," according to a weekend report in the N.Y. TIMES. According to a memo sent from MLB's Player Relations committee to the clubs last week, the owners plan to withdraw the $1B in guaranteed total payrolls they offered players in their original proposal. The guarantee was a "significant element of the plan in which the owners would give the players" 50% of their revenue for salaries and other players costs. The $1B figure was based on the projected players' share of the owners' estimated $1.78B revenue this year. The elimination of the $1B guarantee "comes as no surprise. The guarantee was offered on the contingency that revenues in future years would not fall below this year's total" of $1.78B (N.Y. TIMES, 10/23). ESPN's Gary Miller: "Basically [the owners' plan] has been redesigned so owners can unilaterally implement it, which they are expected to do, next month" (ESPN, 10/22). OTHER MEMO ELEMENTS: The memo also attaches figures to the part of the owners' proposal that deals with "escalating minimum salaries in their first four years. First year players would receive $115,000; 2nd 175,000; 3rd $500,000; 4th $750,000. The union has proposed raising the league minimum to at least $175,000, with nothing set beyond that level (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 10/23). Mediator Bill Usery will not convene a joint bargaining session until he understands each side's position (USA TODAY, 10/24). GOOD NEWS? In Boston, Peter Gammons reports that a group of nine "powerful agents" met with MLBPA Exec Dir Donald Fehr in New York on Thursday, and left "feeling good" about a December 1 settlement and being able to start signing free agents next week. One player rep said Friday "that the union office was optimistic about spring training, and indications are strong that several big-market owners are increasingly restless about the strike being prolonged by small-market self-interests" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/23).