Agent Scott Boras recommended to his clients that they reject Major League Baseball's proposals to cut salaries any further in 2020.
This is according to a report by the Associated Press, who obtained an email Boras sent to his clients.
"Remember, games cannot be played without you," Boras wrote to his clients. "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."
In March, the players association and MLB agreed to pay players a prorated portion of their salaries in 2020. Owners have since tried to back out of that deal, claiming they would lose $640,000 per game without fans in attendance.
On Tuesday, the league submitted its first proposal to the union for how to rework financial compensation, offering a tiered salary structure. Under it, players who make close to the league-minimum will receive about 90-percent of their prorated pay, but those with larger contracts would receive substantial pay cuts, including some receiving less than 20-percent of their original deal.
The union was not receptive to the deal, which appears to be all but officially dead. Boras client and MLB alternate rep Max Scherzerposted on Twitter Tuesday night that there is 'no reason' for players to engage in more salary cuts.
In a letter between MLB and union reps, which was obtained by the New York Post, MLB explained to the union officials that the league would need a second negotiation if games were not played in front of fans to determine pay. It is becoming increasingly unlikely that fans will be able to attend games in 2020.
The union is expected to submit its first proposal back to owners later this week, calling for full prorated salaries and a longer regular season than MLB's 82-game schedule.
Boras has the largest agency in baseball, and his clients received $1.2 billion in contracts this offseason. Some of his clients, including Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon, would take the largest pay cuts under MLB's proposed tiered salary scale.
Cole, for example, was originally scheduled to make $36 million in 2020. Under MLB's proposal, he would make a little less than $5.6 million. Under a full prorated salary for an 82-game season, it would be about $18.2 million.
According to research done by FanGraphs' Devan Fink, MLB's proposal would result in players receiving less than half of their original prorated salaries, and less than one-fourth of what they made in 2019.