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Tampa Bay Rays: Players publicly decline sliding-scale proposal

By Seth Carter
Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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Tampa Bay Rays fans awaited reaction to the owners’ proposal to the players yesterday, although we all pretty much knew the result beforehand.

I’m still holding out hope for a Tampa Bay Rays season, but it’s not looking good at the moment. The owner’s initial proposal included a revenue-sharing model which was declined in epic fashion by the players. Including a Twitch rant by the Tampa Bay Rays own Blake Snell.

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The second attempt was pitched on Tuesday. It included a sliding-scale model in which the highest-paid players would end up taking the largest pay cuts. Projections had Gerrit Cole going from $36 million in 2020 to as low as $9 million.

The owners reportedly came back to the players with an 82-game schedule and a sliding-pay scale. Yesterday, the players released a public response in which they refused to accept a second pay cut on top of the one they already agreed to in March.

Max Scherzer, one of the highest-paid players in the game, released the following statement via his official Twitter account.

Under the proposal, players earning a million or less would keep about 43% of their salaries for the 2020 season. Over half of all players on rosters and IL earn less than a million dollars per year.

The players are willing to accept a pro-rated salary – or their annual salary divided by 162 games and multiplied by however many games are played – but they want to play 110 games.

How far apart are they?

Over 110-game schedule, Gerrit Cole would earn $24.4 million whereas the recent “sliding scale” would pay him $9 million for 2020.

That doesn’t look good.

In a tweet, New York Mets starting pitcher Marcus Stroman stated the same thing we are all already thinking.

"“This season is not looking promising.”"

Some say the owners should stick to the deal they agreed to in March or they shouldn’t expect the players to accept this type of pay cut with increased risk. Some see the players as whining over millions over 40 million Americans have filed for unemployment during the crisis.

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No matter which side you are on, this isn’t a good look. If this season ends in a dispute over money, it could cause lasting damage to the sport. I suppose there is always the KBO.

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