Scott Boras Says His Players Won't Move Off Previously Agreed Deal
MLB agent Scott Boras said that all of his players are "prepared to play right now and are willing to squeeze in as many as 124 regular-season games through October" under the condition that they "will not accept a penny less than the prorated salaries they agreed to following negotiations with the owners on March 26," according to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY. Boras, who represents about 100 MLBers, said, “After this agreement was reached, you can’t come forward with a dynamic and say, 'Hi, I want to privatize the gains and socialize the losses.'" Boras said that the "biggest concern he hears from his players is not for their safety and welfare but their rights." The players "trust that MLB will have plenty of testing and safety measures during the season but, considering they are taking the health risk, believe it’s unfair to ask them to assume any further financial hits" (USA TODAY, 5/13).
DO THE RIGHT THING: ESPN's Jeff Passan said the “seeming compromise in this situation is not changing the money because players are already taking an enormous haircut if they’re doing this on a prorated basis.” The “easy solution” is “deferrals.” Passan: “If owners can’t pay the cash right now because they are cash flow poor, just push it off into the future. I know it’s more debt for them to carry and no one wants to carry debt right now. These are billionaires. … If ever there is a time for billionaires to do right, it’s now” (“Get Up,” ESPN, 5/13). Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal said the owners “had to know” proposing a 50/50 revenue split “would trigger the players." Rosenthal wondered if this is a "formula they think can work on a one-time basis” or is this “simply a negotiating position to start off here and get to another level that is more acceptable to the players." But Rosenthal added, “I'm confident that they're going to get an agreement. ... Both sides recognize they have to play, otherwise they're in a bigger hole for the 2021. They can't go dark for 18 months of the sport. It doesn't work financially (and) it doesn't work in terms of the public" ("Speak for Yourself," FS1, 5/12).
FACED WITH A CHOICE: In L.A., Dylan Hernandez writes if the owners "have a problem with the players’ skepticism" over their proposal, they have "only themselves to blame." It is "not as if the owners have shown they prioritize the long-term health of the sport over their short-term bottom lines" (L.A. TIMES, 5/13). In DC, Thomas Boswell writes the owners and players "face a choice that is not a choice at all." They can "fight, waste time and end up with zero games and $0.00 in total revenue for the year," as opposed to the $10.7B they split last year. Or they can "figure out how to play those 78 (or whatever) regular season games." Then they "would probably end up with nearly" $4B this year, and that is "a lot better than $0.00" (WASHINGTON POST, 5/13).
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- Chicago DAILY HERALD: "Bad Time For MLB Owners, Players To Be Selfish."
- SI.com: "Baseball Can't Afford Another War Over Money."