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#pounditTuesday, January 26, 2021

Yankees president explains why teams would win grievance with players

MLB players are expected to eventually file a grievance against team owners after commissioner Rob Manfred scheduled the 2020 season without an agreement in place, but the league does not seem concerned about losing.

One of the main reasons the MLB Players Association voted no on MLB’s latest proposal for a 60-game season was that the players wanted to preserve their right to file a grievance. That grievance would claim owners intentionally delayed the season in order to avoid paying players for more games. While SNY’s Andy Martino was told by sources that owners would likely try to settle to avoid having to open their books and reveal information about revenue, New York Yankees president Randy Levine says teams have nothing to worry about.

“It’s got a 90 percent chance of the clubs winning [the grievance],” Levine says. “I know good faith. This was good faith. We’re losing hundreds of millions of dollars. There is no secret. It’s very obvious. There are no fans in the seats. They are not eating or drinking in the seats. There is no place to hide money. Discovery of what? This concept of ‘they are hiding money’ is just not true.”

Part of the issue is owners agreed back in March to pay players 100 percent pro-rated salaries for however many games are played. They then went back on that agreement, citing the loss in revenue from potentially having to play in empty ballparks. However, it was known at the time that fans likely would not be permitted to attend games.

It shouldn’t be hard for owners to prove they have missed out on a massive amount of revenue, so you can understand why Levine is confident MLB would win the grievance. The only argument that could be made is that owners continued to drag out the negotiations intentionally and knew they were making proposals players wouldn’t accept, but that also seems like an uphill battle for the MLBPA.

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