The Major League Baseball owners and the players are in contract dispute, as the league, hopefully, prepares to begin a shortened 2020 season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
USA Today's Bob Nightengale is extremely confident that a deal will get done.
"I'd be shocked if we're not playing baseball in July," Nightengale told 94WIP's Jon Marks and Ike Reese on Wednesday. "There is no hard deadline here. You could probably go up to June 6th and still get baseball in by the July 4th weekend. Worst comes to worst and they are still negotiating and the season is delayed a week. I think they will get this done for sure."
The owners offered a "sliding-scale" salary structure, where the biggest stars take the largest pay-cut while lower-salaried players make a larger percentage of their expected wages. The owners offered a cut of playoff revenue as well, if postseason games are played.
"The other few sports, those guys have already 75 to 80 percent of their pay checks," Nightengale said. "Everybody realizes the (MLB) teams are losing money. No one is gonna make money this year and so baseball owners are telling the players you have to do the same thing."
The players met this proposal with outrage and it is easy to see why. The highest earners like Mike Trout and Bryce Harper would take nearly a 75% pay-cut.
"I think they are saying here, we are trying to help out minimum salary guys and divide it up this way," Nightengale explained. "They are telling they union hey, if you want to do it differently, that's up to you. If you want to squeeze the younger guys and give more money to the most expensive players, go ahead and do it. I think it's just an idea thrown out that says if you don't like revenue sharing, how about doing a revenue-sharing thing this way.
"There is flexibility on both sides," Nightengale explained. "The players don't want to take a pay-cut but realize it's better than sitting at home and not getting paid at all. The owners same thing. Let's face it, if there is no season this year, there will be no money in the offseason so the free agent class will get crushed. With no season, the owners won't get money from season ticket holders because the people will be so disgusted. They are highly motivated on both sides to get something done here.
"They (owners) would (lose more money) because even with the short season like it is, the local TVs and sponsorship, they will get that money. But if there is no season at all, those guys would ask for their money back."