Arizona Diamondbacks president and CEO Derrick Hall sees progress in a potential start to the Major League Baseball season after the league and its players union began talks this week.
That’s despite many obstacles on the horizon as the league proposed a revenue split with players that got significant pushback from some individuals.
Right now, Hall told Arizona Sports’ Doug & Wolf, the discussions revolve around the more important issue: health.
“That’s really the focus right now is the health and safety,” Hall said Thursday, noting he’s not been involved in the talks.
“We need to make sure the players and coaches and staff feel comfortable coming back.”
On Wednesday, MLB did not include an economic proposal during its opening presentation to the players’ union on terms to start the coronavirus-delayed season.
The electronic meeting of MLB and the players’ association lasted between three and four hours and consisted of baseball officials explaining their view of the economics, science and logistics of getting the season under way, several people familiar with the session told The Associated Press. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because no details were announced.
Owners gave the go-ahead Monday for a proposal that players receive the percentage of their 2020 salaries based on a 50-50 split of revenues MLB receives during the regular season and postseason, a person familiar with that plan told the AP. That person also spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan was not announced.
Among the things that were discussed: What measures will MLB take if a player or employee tests positive for coronavirus?
The players union and its members are already pushing back against the idea of a 50-50 revenue split, which is not only a pay reduction in itself but even moreso a cut because of a reduced schedule.
“Y’all gotta understand, man, for me to go — for me to take a pay cut is not happening, because the risk is through the roof,” Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Blake Snell said while answering questions on his Twitch channel. “It’s a shorter season, less pay.
“No, I gotta get my money. I’m not playing unless I get mine, OK? And that’s just the way it is for me. Like, I’m sorry you guys think differently, but the risk is way the hell higher and the amount of money I’m making is way lower. Why would I think about doing that?”
Hall believes there is time to work through the safety issues and then negotiate about salaries. He said it’s not a “pressure-packed” situation at this point.
“We have time on our side,” Hall said.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.