SF Giants: Buster Posey facing 70 percent salary loss under MLB pact

San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)
San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images) /

Buster Posey and his SF Giants teammates face huge losses

On Tuesday, MLB presented to its players a plan that would see MLB reopen spring training camps in June but reportedly cost Buster Posey and other star players on the SF Giants millions of dollars.

Players expected if they only played 82 games in a season, they’d only receive about half their salary. Per reporting from ESPN’s Jeff Passan and others, the agreement players are being asked to accept goes far beyond that for the highest-paid stars.

Passan reported that MLB’s agreement is graduated, with lowest paid players receiving most of their prorated contract while higher-paid players taking far steeper cuts. In addition to that, players are paid by game played.

"The scale goes down as salaries go up, with every dollar:$563,501 to $1 million paid at 72.5%$1,000,001 to $5 million paid at 50%$5,000,001 to $10 million paid at 40%$10,000,001 to $20 million paid at 30%$20,000,001 and up paid at 20%"

Using Passan’s math as an example, we decided to take a look at a sampling of Giants players to see how this would affect their salaries. The “expected” salary is based on their agreed pay prorated to an 82-game schedule.

SF Giants catcher Buster Posey losing nearly $19 million

Buster Posey, who would have been paid nearly $22 million for a 162-game season, expected $11.2 million for an 82-game season, and would receive $3.37 million. That’s a difference of nearly $7.9 million over the prorated salary and nearly $19 million from his contractual salary.

Brandon Belt, who would have been paid $17.2 million for a full season and $8.7 million for 82 games, would receive $3.48 million under this plan — more than Posey.

Kevin Gausman, who signed a $9 million deal this offseason, would have been paid $4.5 million for 82 games. He’d make about $2.25 million under this proposal.

You can already see where things go wrong. If this reporting is correct, and unless the scale is applied in the same way as when we pay taxes (the increased tax rate is only applied to each additional dollar beyond the former bracket), then some players will find themselves in what appears to be rather unfair situations.

It is worth noting upfront that not all of the reported figures and percentages seem to align with each other, making this subject all the more complicated.

It would appear MLB owners are trying to divide the union and pit players against each other. Most players aren’t paid like Posey or Mike Trout. They’re paid somewhere between league minimum and Kevin Gausman.

Only seven Giants were set to earn more than $5 million for the year before COVID-19 changed everything.

Passan noted that 65 percent of players earn $1 million or less, and would receive more than 80 percent of their prorated salaries.

Giving lower-paid players most of their salary means they have far more incentive to come to an agreement than the higher paid players (many who probably also have more money saved in the first place.)

This isn’t lost on the union, as Jon Heyman reports: “Union leadership, many top agents and surely highly-paid star players are upset by MLB proposal (“barely worth a response”), but many lower-paid players may have different reax. Know this: 65% of MLB players make $1M or less and off prorated pay they still get at most a 15% cut.”

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While things seem far apart and dire now, remember that’s to be expected. The sides will likely get closer as negotiations continue.