It is no secret by now the Major League Baseball faces a hefty labor battle between the owners and players in order to play the 2020 season.
The owners reportedly want to split revenue of a shortened season 50-50, because they will lose a significant amount of money with no fans in attendance.
The players, who already agreed to a prorated salary with the owners in March, view this as a further salary reduction and a type of salary cap being placed on them.
MLB player agent Scott Boras, who has 80-90 major leaguers as clients, joined WFAN’s “Joe and Evan” on Thursday to discuss where things stand between the two sides.
Boras claims he does not know of any revenue sharing plan, but noted that the union has operated on a “no salary cap dynamic” for generations, and that baseball has been a booming business in recent years.
“You don’t see anybody sharing the gains, the billions of dollars that have been brought to the game,” he said. “And they shouldn’t, because they’re the owners, that’s what owners do. You don’t privatize the gains and socialize the losses.
“When we’re in these kinds of environments when there’s a difficulty, a restraint, an issue, that’s something ownership takes the good and the bad with gains and losses and that’s really how ownership works. In this case, the one thing about employees, is they have already made a major concession by making sure that baseball is economically feasible because they’re only paying the players that they pay.”
Boras cited several examples, from the Yankees growing in the billions of dollars in the last decade, to the Atlanta Braves being sold for $450 million and are now worth $1.8 billion, including a $200 million-plus growth from 2016 to 2019.
Yet, it still feels like this could get ugly between the union and the players.
“I think union leadership has done a very good job in getting the voice of the players … and I think they clearly understand when they made that agreement that was a major concession,” he said. “You’re talking about 162 games of $4.5 billion in player salaries. They said, ‘Look, we’re going to work with you in this process.’ … Tony Clark has said publicly, ‘we made an agreement, we’re going to honor the agreement, but we’re not going to alter the agreement because we just freshly did this agreement.’”