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MLB’s lockout to cost players a huge amount of money

Posted February. 25, 2022 07:51,   

Updated February. 25, 2022 07:51


As the MLB work stoppage continues in a series of setbacks in collective bargaining negotiations, players are likely to incur huge losses following a delay in the 2022 regular season.

On Thursday, The Associated Press (AP) estimated that players will combine to lose 20.5 million U.S. dollars for each regular-season day if the lockout drags on and the regular season starts late as a result. This amount was calculated by dividing last year’s base salaries that totaled over 3.8 billion dollars by 186 days, the overall length of the regular season in 2021.

The MLB superstars could lose a huge amount of money. The AP reported that Max Scherzer would incur the biggest loss due to the lockout. Scherzer signed with the New York Mets on a three-year, 130-million-dollar contract in November 2021. This is translated into the 43.33-million-dollar average annual salary, making him the highest-paid player in MLB history by a single season salary. For each day canceled from schedule, Scherzer would lose 232,975 dollars. The New York Yankee’s Gerrit Cole would forfeit 193,548 dollars for each regular-season day lost. An interesting coincidence is that Scherzer and Cole are on the union’s executive subcommittee.

This is also a bad news for Ryu Hyun-jin, the highest-paid Korean baseball player in Major League Baseball. Ryu signed a four-year, 80-million-dollar deal with the Toronto Blue Jays for the 2020 season and beyond, which is translated into the 20-million-dollar annual salary. A delay in the regular season will cost Ryu 107,527 dollars each day.

In 2020, the first year of the contract, Ryu received only 37% of the contracted annual salary (7.4 million dollars) due to a shorter season caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, when only 60 out of 162 games took place. Although Ryu received the full amount of the annual salary in 2021, he may have to suffer another pecuniary loss if the MLB work stoppage shortens the 2022 regular season. This may set an unlucky precedent for Ryu, who will incur financial loss without major injuries.

The AP reported that the MLB owners pressurized the Players Association that a new collective bargaining agreement would be needed by Feb. 28, which is one month away from the start of the season, to avoid missed games.

Bae-Jung Kim wanted@donga.com