The famed agent Scott Boras wants Major League Baseball players to know the game cannot be played without them. Boras encouraged players to stand strong in the labor fight against the owners, according to the Associated Press.
Boras, 67, reportedly emailed the players, telling them they should not take a bad deal that would bail out the owners.
“Remember, games cannot be played without you,” Boras wrote. “Players should not agree to further pay cuts to bail out the owners. Let owners take some of their record revenues and profits from the past several years and pay you the prorated salaries you agreed to accept or let them borrow against the asset values they created from the use of those profits players generated.”
MLB made a record-high $10.7 billion in revenue in 2019, according to Forbes. The league reportedly made $10.3 billion in 2018.
Boras explained the owners are asking players to take pay cuts to pay for investments teams made away from the field. He cites stadium renovations and developing land around the ballparks as expenses Boras believes the owners are hoping to pay off with that extra money, according to the AP.
“Owners now want players to take additional pay cuts to help them pay these loans. They want a bailout,” he added. “They are not offering players a share of the stadiums, ballpark villages or the club itself, even though salary reductions would help owners pay for these valuable franchise assets. These billionaires want the money for free. No bank would do that. Banks demand loans be repaid with interest. Players should be entitled to the same respect.”
It’s unclear when Boras sent that email, but at least one player isn’t happy Boras got involved in the labor fight. Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer called out Boras for “meddling” Wednesday. Bauer may have been unaware Boras was going to release a pro-player statement, or Bauer may be upset Boras got involved in the first place. The labor fight is between the players and the owners, not the agents. Boras and other agents will be affected by the negotiations, obviously.
Boras’ message comes with the sport in turmoil. The union appears set to reject and counter the owners’ most recent proposal, which called for a sliding scale of pay cuts. A number of players have expressed frustration at that offer, including Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer.
Both sides are expected to continue talking despite the players’ frustrations. Significant progress will need to be made over the next few days in order for baseball to play regular-season games by July.
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