Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Within the next few days, Major League Baseball will likely make its first economic proposal to the Players Association about resuming play this season. Moderates among the players and agents -- the ones who want a fair settlement but not a war -- will push for an agreement, and the sides will agree to a pay cut but not a 50/50 revenue split.
That, at least, is what we predict from talking to sources on all sides of this negotiation.
As previously reported, it's far from a sure thing that MLB will propose a controversial revenue sharing plan. Over the past few days, agents around the game have become increasingly skeptical that was ever the plan.
Those agents speculate that the ultimate agreement will involve a modest across-the-board pay cut that includes deferrals. It will look better to players than the revenue-sharing idea floated in media reports.
Of course, it's all speculation until MLB makes its proposal. Many agents have watched, frustrated, as the league effectively controlled public messaging and lobbied public officials. Players like Tampa Bay's Blake Snell and agents like Scott Boras have expressed anger and defiance before a proposal was even made.
Regardless of the substance of their arguments -- and both clearly had merit -- the hawkish tone was not good publicity. Once again, the players somehow find themselves trailing billionaire owners in public sympathy.
In recent days, the Oakland Athletics have declined to pay rent on their stadium, and other teams have announced pay cuts, layoffs and other measures difficult on employees. And yet it's the players who are portrayed as greedy.
It might not be fair, but it's where they are. And among the ranks of players and agents are moderates who want to skip the battle and find a way to play.