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MLB expected to offer less-than-prorated pay again

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Jon Heyman of MLB Network and Karl Ravech of ESPN are both reporting that Major League Baseball is expected to make a counter offer to the players today that, once again, offers less than prorated pay. Heyman says it’ll be a 72-game season at around 80% of prorated pay. Ravech says it’ll be around 70 games and 80-85% of prorated pay.

MLB’s last offer was for 76 games at 75 percent pro rata — and that was actually a tad worse than their first offer — so this is not much of a bump. It’s unlikely to impress the players in any event given that they’ve insisted on their previously negotiated right to receive 100% of prorated pay.

The owners’ “nuclear option,” as it were, is to simply impose a very short season at 100% prorated pay. Heyman expects the owners to do just that if an agreement is not reached within the next five days or so.

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Update (3:56 PM ET, Bill Baer): MLB has officially sent its proposal to the MLBPA, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports. 72-game season, 70 percent prorated play during the regular season which gets bumped up to 80 percent if the postseason is completed.

Other details: option to suspend draft pick compensation attached to free agents during the 2020-21 offseason. Expanded postseason, potentially eight teams per league. Season would start somewhere in mid-July and end on September 27.

This new proposal presents a modest bump in pay, an additional $71 million, per The Athletic’s Evan Drellich. The owners have set a deadline for Sunday. The MLBPA has remained firm on full prorated salaries, so expect MLB’s latest proposal to also be rejected.

 

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”