May 18, 2020

Will the players get paid? How the pandemic is affecting collective bargaining in MLB

WHAT: Major League Baseball players said they are unwilling to take additional pay cuts in response to a new proposal that would shorten the 2020 season to 82 games and base their salaries on a 50-50 revenue split. Without fans in the stands, MLB revenue is expected to drop 40 percent in lost ticket sales, concessions and parking.

WHO: James B. Dworkin, a professor in the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University, is an expert and author focusing on professional sports unions and collective bargaining, and an arbitrator in a variety of labor-management disputes. Dworkin says MLB players are unlikely to make many more concessions because their collective bargaining agreement with the league is set to expire in 2021.

dworkin-james James Dworkin. (Courtesy photo) Download image

QUOTE: “Every other issue that’s going to be discussed can be resolved: doing spring training in June; opening day around July; using designated hitters in both leagues; expanding rosters; 14-team playoffs. The two big contentious issues are going to be player safety, and salaries of the players. Baseball is the only league that doesn’t have revenue sharing, and so the players will reject this idea because they are afraid the owners are going to want to institute a salary cap like they have in the other sports, and players don’t want that.”

MORE INFORMATION: Dworkin is author of the book “Owners Versus Players: Baseball and Collective Bargaining.”

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Writer: Joseph Paul, (working remotely but will provide immediate response)

Source: James Dworkin, (available for phone and Zoom interviews)


Note to Journalists: A baseball stock image and a photograph of the professor is available to journalists via Google Drive.

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