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Nationals' Scherzer: MLBPA Has "No Justification" To Accept Further Pay Cuts From MLB

Washington Nationals' star Max Scherzer publicly announced his displeasure with MLB's proposed second wave of pay cuts.

The MLB Players Association (MLBPA) is expected to respond to Major League Baseball's economic proposal by pushing for a longer season and players receive their full prorated salaries, according to The Athletic.

Negotiations between the the league and the players union got off to a rather sour start on Tuesday. While MLB dropped the initial 50-50 revenue split that union chief Tony Clark called a "non-starter", the league's economic proposal featured pay cuts that some of the players deemed "massive" and were overwhelmingly unhappy.

Late Wednesday night, Washington Nationals' star pitcher and union representative Max Scherzer tweeted his displeasure with the league's proposal. Scherzer, a member of the union's executive sub-committee and arguably the most influential voice in the players union, remained steadfast that the players would not accept further pay cuts based on the information the league has provided.

"After discussing the latest developments with the rest of the players there's no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions. We have previously negotiated a pay cut in the version of prorated salaries, and there's no justification to accept a second pay cut based upon the current information the union has received.

"I'm glad to hear other players voicing the same viewpoint and believe MLB's economic strategy would completely change if all documentation were to become public information."

-Max Scherzer (@Max_Scherzer)

Major League Baseball does not expect fans to attend games from the outset of the season and claims they will lose $640,000 per game without paying customers in attendance.

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A longer season complicates negotiations between the two sides. Under prorated salaries, players would earn more money in a longer season under the March agreement. However, the league is trying to avoid a potential second wave of COVID-19 in the fall, endangering the postseason and World Series. The league also claims they would lose money for additional games played.

While the two sides are in the early stages of negotiations, it's difficult to imagine a worse start than what has transpired over the past 36 hours. Not only are the league and the players far apart on economics and health and safety protocols, Sports Illustrated's Stephanie Apstein reported on Tuesday night the Oakland Athletics were not going to pay their minor leaguers after the expiration of MLB's agreement on May 31. The savings for an owner worth approximately $2.1 billion would be around $1.3 million.

Also on Tuesday, the National Hockey League—a league that has had three work stoppages under commissioner Gary Bettman—announced their return-to-play plans. Those plans were agreed to by the league and the NHL Players Association. 

Despite the unrest between MLB and the players union over the past couple of days, the hope is more conversation will be ignited between the two sides. Unfortunately, time is not a luxury. The soft deadline of June 1 is looking pretty dim at the moment. If a second spring training is to begin in mid-June and the regular season begin in early July, neither side has the option to leave the bargaining table. 

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