Sports

/

ArcaMax

Max Scherzer: 'No reason to engage' in talks over more pay cuts

Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Baseball

On the day after major league owners asked players to take an additional pay cut this season because of baseball's coronavirus-induced economic hardship, Max Scherzer threw this brushback pitch at the owners: put up or shut up.

Scherzer, a member of the executive board of the players' union, posted on social media Wednesday night that the players had "no reason to engage" in negotiations over pay cuts because the owners had provided "no justification" for them. Scherzer also said the league's strategy could not stand "if all documentation were to become public information."

Scherzer said he spoke for "the rest of the players." The union could deliver a formal response to the owners' proposal that rejects additional salary concessions but offers a way for owners to address cash flow issues, perhaps through salary deferments.

The union also is expected to ask for more regular-season games than the 82 proposed by owners, the Athletic reported Wednesday. In addition, the union said Tuesday the two sides were "far apart" on health and safety protocols.

With the clock ticking on a proposed return to spring training in about two weeks, the parties have made no progress on compensation in the two weeks since the owners first voted to seek additional salary reductions from players.

In March, players agreed to accept a prorated salary for any games played this season. The league says that agreement compels additional negotiations in the event of games without fans, and owners argue they could lose more money by playing fan-free games than by not playing at all.

 

The players asked for financial documentation to support that position. Scherzer's response indicates that the players are not satisfied with the documents they have received, and that players are outraged by the proposal that would force the Los Angeles Angels' Mike Trout and other top-paid players to receive about 22% of their previously guaranteed 2020 salaries, a figure that could fall to 16% if the postseason is not completed.

The players also are dismayed at what they consider a transparent attempt to split the union by offering a sliding scale of pay cuts, with the lowest-paid players impacted the least. Trout's $36 million salary could fall to $8 million, but the league said that 65% of players making $1 million or less would receive about 46% of their salaries.

(c)2020 Los Angeles Times

Visit the Los Angeles Times at www.latimes.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.