By Sam Bush
Major League Baseball’s labor committee yesterday submitted to the players union a financial proposal, the first major step to settle their financial differences, two MLB officials with direct knowledge of the negotiations told Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports.
The proposal likely will be presented to the union Tuesday after Commissioner Rob Manfred privately shares it with the 30 ownership groups in a conference call earlier that day.
The proposal is expected to include revenue sharing, which if adopted would be a first for MLB, and will at least open dialogue determining how much players should be paid in a truncated 82-game season. The players have already agreed to prorate their salaries, costing them about half of their annual salary, but the owners insist without additional concessions they will lose money playing games without fans.
Can it work?
“I went through six work stoppages in the first 18 years of my career in this business,’’ former agent Barry Axelrod said. “I know the damage that can be done. We are all lucky that we survived after ’94.
“I know the players and the people have changed, but what we’ve seen in the past, once you get into these labor issues during negotiations, it’s almost that these two sides can’t talk to each other.
“And as time goes on, people dig in, and it becomes harder and harder.’’