MLB Players Reportedly Want To See Owners’ Financials Before Agreeing To Reopening Plan

A major league baseball stadium sits empty
Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images

The Major League Baseball players’ union wants to see team owners’ books before they agree to any deal on opening the 2020 season, according to The Associated Press. The report indicated the union officially requested a slew of financial documents from the owners this week.

The request reportedly has to do with part of the proposed agreement to reopen the league, starting next month. While safety concerns have been raised around the plan, the amount of money players would receive has raised the most eyebrows. Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer is one player the AP pointed to as having questions about just how much financial trouble the league is really in.

MLB is asking the player’s union to agree to a 50/50 revenue-sharing deal when baseball starts back up. Bauer and others are citing a pay agreement made earlier this spring that already significantly reduced every player’s salary. Before taking a deeper cut, the union wants to see just how badly the coronavirus outbreak has affected the richest stakeholders in the sport.

Trevor Bauer of the Cincinnati Reds looks on during the second inning against the Atlanta Braves
  Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images

While adding the caveat he was being “slightly lighthearted,” Bauer reportedly ripped into the entire approach MLB has taken when it came to getting the sport back on track.

“If I’m going to have to trust my salary to Rob Manfred marketing the game to make more money for the game, I am out on that. Let me market the game and we’ll all make more money.”

Earlier in the week, Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Blake Snell voiced his concern over the proposed revenue split, as the AP reported.

“I’m not splitting no revenue. I want all mine. Bro, y’all got to understand, too, because y’all going to be like: ‘Bro, play for the love of the game. Man, what’s wrong with you, bro? Money should not be a thing.’ Bro, I’m risking my life. What do you mean, ‘It should not be a thing?’ It 100% should be a thing,” the 2018 AL Cy Young Award winner said Wednesday.

MLB’s league offices claim owners will suffer a loss of more than 40 percent revenue if baseball has to play in front of empty stadiums. Most believe that would be the only way to begin the season safely. Some analysts have claimed the sport is expected to be played the entire season without fans in attendance.

The lack of consensus about how much money players should get is said by some to be an indicator that the 2020 season could be lost. Players like Snell want their entire salaries. Others are willing to work with MLB to find a compromise but don’t want to go in blind and want to see more financial information before agreeing to anything.