St. Louis Cardinals owner and chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. is the latest executive to sound off about the ongoing deadlock between owners and the Major League Baseball Players Association.
DeWitt said players are being unreasonable in their requests to play a longer slate of games (114 in a recent proposal) at full prorated pay.
"What we're trying to do is convince them that more games are beneficial to the sport, and beneficial to their players," DeWitt told Frank Cusumano on 590 The Fan. "What we've offered them is something less than prorated pay for more games.
"We understand that if we implement a shorter season that they will get full pay, but in total they'll get less money. So it really doesn't make a lot of sense for them to continue to hold out with what was kind of a far-reaching, and in my view a little bit of a ridiculous proposal."
DeWitt added that money isn't flowing despite MLB seeing record revenues totaling $10.7 billion in 2019, Maury Brown of Forbes reported last December. That marked the 17th straight year the league has logged record growth, largely due to sponsorship agreements and lucrative cable deals.
"The industry isn’t very profitable, to be quite honest," DeWitt said. "But they think owners are hiding profits, and this and that."
If an agreement on pay cannot be reached between the league and the union, commissioner Rob Manfred can unilaterally impose a 48-game season. In that scenario, players would receive full prorated pay.
"At some point, we do have the right to implement a season and pay full salaries and the only way it makes sense is with a shorter season," DeWitt said. "And that’s I think the way it'll turn out."
Not long after DeWitt made his comments, Cardinals ace Jack Flaherty posted the following tweet:
The union plans on rejecting the league's latest overture of a 76-game campaign that would have required players to accept 75% of their prorated salaries.