Major League Baseball and the Major League Umpires Association have reached an agreement on umpire salaries for the 2020 season, ESPN’s Jesse Rogers reports (via Twitter). The league had reportedly been seeking a pay cut for umpires and was pushing for an agreement to be in place this weekend. Absent an agreement, the umpires would not have been paid until play resumed.
USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets that the umpires will see their pay reduced by “about” 30 percent. The umpires union had made an initial offer of a 20 percent reduction, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Rosenthal reported yesterday that the league’s proposal to the umpires included a 35 percent pay reduction (including retroactive prorating of salary that was already paid out prior to the Covid-19 pandemic shutdown) as well as reduced per diems and postseason bonuses. That arrangement didn’t sit well with the umpires union.
Negotiations with the umpires were just one of the countless issues that need to be sorted as the owners, commissioner Rob Manfred and the players association work toward staging a truncated 2020 season that is unlike any we’ve seen in the past (or will see again). Decision-makers are still discussing several scenarios for a return to play and a second training camp. Among the many potential ideas being kicked around are a radical realignment scheme, intrasquad training games at each team’s home park and a potential three-state training setup between Arizona, Texas and Florida. Nothing has been agreed upon or set in place yet, but optimism that a 2020 season will be able to take place has been mounting over the past couple of weeks.