Max Scherzer is the Washington Nationals’ union representative, he’s been a member of the Major League Baseball Players Association’s eight-member executive subcommittee since 2018, elected by his peers to represent the players, and in that role, he’s been working with MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark and MLB as they try to come to an agreement on how they can make a 2020 season happen. So, his response to Major League Baseball’s proposal on how to handle the financial end amid the coronavirus pandemic carries a lot of weight, as numerous reporters noted tonight, shortly after the 35-year-old, 12-year veteran tweeted the following incendiary missive (which was just his third tweet since October of 2018):
That part about there being, “... no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions,” and the line about there being, “... no justification to accept a [second] pay cut,” and the last bit about how, “... MLB’s economic strategy would completely change if all documentation were to become public information,” yeah, that will all launch a thousand articles before you wake up in the morning.
Scherzer decided to make his own feelings on the negotiations part of the public record, and a little after 11:00 PM ET last night he stirred the baseball world up:
The Major League Baseball Players Association plans to send a proposal with economic terms to MLB by the end of the week, sources familiar with the discussion told ESPN. As @Max_Scherzer tweeted, the players do not plan to make any salary concessions.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) May 28, 2020
Translated:— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) May 28, 2020
If MLB’s hope was that their proposal Tuesday would generate a counter-offer from the union, well...
Apparently not. https://t.co/joEJHqINDr
Max Scherzer expressing his strong disapproval https://t.co/yLZqAMiPm3— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) May 28, 2020
Max Scherzer is one of the highest ranking players in the union, sitting on an eight-member executive subcommittee, so his words carry weight: https://t.co/gI66c9SNmc— James Wagner (@ByJamesWagner) May 28, 2020
Max Scherzer, the Nationals’ union rep and a member of the executive committee, voices his opinion here on the owners’ latest proposal. Scherzer is one, if not the most, influential players in baseball when it comes to league/union discussions. https://t.co/4G4VrdIeIJ— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) May 28, 2020
For those who don't know, Scherzer is on the Players Association executive council. He's very much involved in these talks. https://t.co/sknnBCHV0e— Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) May 28, 2020
If you’re not up to date on the state of the negotiations between MLB and the MLBPA, and the context of Scherzer’s comments above...
According to reporting Tuesday night by USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, MLBPA members balked at MLB’s economic proposal for a truncated 2020 campaign, which they said was, “extremely disappointing,” when they received it on Tuesday.
The proposed plan, Nightengale’s sources said, would pay major leaguers, “... a percentage of their prorated salaries,” for 2020, if they play baseball this year, in an 82, rather than 162-game season, with the highest paid players taking the bigger salary cuts:
“The veterans earning the highest salaries would be taking the biggest cuts — as much as 50% from their prorated salaries — while the younger players earning the least amount of money would receive most of their guaranteed prorated salaries. The proposal also includes a scale that would pay players a percentage of their salary at different intervals of the season, through the postseason. It also includes a larger share of postseason money to the players.”
MLBPA members reportedly believe that the agreement with MLB and its owners in March, when Spring Training ended and the start of the season was postponed, guaranteed, as ESPN.com’s Jeff Passan noted, “a full prorated share of their salaries” in a potential 2020 campaign, though Major League Baseball believes that the original deal called for a renegotiation, “if games start without fans in the stands, which they would in early July with a deal.”