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England Sources

Sources — New England Patriots give CB Stephon Gilmore $5 million raise – ESPN

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Clark: Pats offense will be better with Cam than Brady (2:26)

Ryan Clark and Mike Tannenbaum have high praise for Cam Newton, saying he will thrive in the Patriots’ offense and have New England competing for the AFC East title. (2:26)

11:47 AM ET

  • Mike ReissESPN Staff Writer

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    • Covered Patriots since 1997
    • Joined ESPN in 2009

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore received a $5 million raise from the New England Patriots leading into Sunday’s season opener against the Miami Dolphins, league sources tell ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Gilmore was scheduled to earn a base salary of $10.5 million in 2020, but the club increased the salary to $15.5 million, sources said.

Gilmore can earn up to $17.5 million if incentives are reached.

This is the fourth year of the five-year, $65 million deal that Gilmore signed with the Patriots as a free agent in 2017. At the time, the contract was among the richest for a cornerback in the NFL.

The market has exploded since that point, prompting Gilmore’s raise.

Gilmore, who will turn 30 on Sept. 19, tied for the league lead with six interceptions last season, returning two of them for touchdowns. His 20 passes defended tied his career high. He became the first defensive back to win the Defensive Player of the Year award since Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu in 2010.

Gilmore spent the first five years of his career with the Buffalo Bills. He was a first-round draft choice in 2012 out of the University of South Carolina.

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Chiefs Sources

Sources – Chiefs agree to extensions with Andy Reid, GM Brett Veach – ESPN

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Chiefs continue busy offseason with extensions for Reid, Veach (0:38)

Adam Teicher reports on what the extensions for Kansas City head coach Andy Reid and general manager Brett Veach mean for the Chiefs. (0:38)

8:36 PM ET

  • Adam TeicherESPN Staff Writer

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    • Covered Chiefs for 20 seasons for Kansas City Star
    • Joined ESPN in 2013

The Kansas City Chiefs moved to secure their coaching and front-office futures by agreeing to terms of contract extensions through 2025 with coach Andy Reid and general manager Brett Veach, sources confirmed Monday to ESPN.

News of the pending extensions was first reported by NFL Network.

Reid and Veach joined the Chiefs in 2013, with Veach starting as a scout. He was promoted to GM in 2017.

The team’s fortunes changed immediately after their arrival. The Chiefs have made the playoffs in six of seven seasons with Reid and Veach, the past four as AFC West champions. The Chiefs last season won their first Super Bowl in 50 years when they beat the San Francisco 49ers.

Reid, 62, is 77-35 in seven regular seasons with the Chiefs. He said recently he had no plans to retire.

“One of the great things about this job is when you look forward to coming to work and to deal with the players and coaches,” he said. “I’m lucky enough to be around good players and coaches. [Patrick Mahomes] makes it even better. He has a unique ability with what he does with his teammates. The ‘Honey Badger’ [Tyrann Mathieu] was part of this, too.

“Both of those two guys make our jobs very enjoyable. I come to work and have two great leaders like that, along with other players who love to play the game. Listen, if it takes me into my 70s, then let’s roll.”

Veach, 42, is credited within the Chiefs’ organization as being the scout who identified Mahomes in the 2017 NFL draft as a future star and convinced Reid and others they should make a move up in the first round to get the quarterback.

The Chiefs at one point this year had less than $200 of room under the salary cap but still found a way to sign Mahomes, defensive tackle Chris Jones and tight end Travis Kelce to new contracts potentially worth more than $600 million.

Chairman Clark Hunt recently said the Chiefs intended to re-sign Veach.

“We’re very lucky to have Brett as part of our organization,” Hunt said. “He’s done an amazing job over last three years of taking a really good roster and turning it into a championship roster, and I think it’s a roster now that’s going to have a chance for multiple years to be a contender for the Super Bowl. He’s done an outstanding job. He works extremely well with Coach Reid, he also has a great rapport with our players, so he’s somebody that we want here for the long term.”

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Michigan Sources

Sources: Big Ten votes to cancel football season; no games for Michigan, Michigan State in 2020 – Detroit Free Press

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SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports sat down with former NASCAR CEO and chairman Brian France to discuss the possibility of no college football this season and the financial ramifications that would follow.

USA TODAY

UPDATE: Future of Big Ten football in fall drags into Tuesday

The Big Ten is expected to cancel its fall college football season in a historic move that stems from concerns related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, multiple people with knowledge of the decision told the Free Press early Monday.

“It’s done,” one high-ranking source in the Big Ten said Monday afternoon. 

Sources said the presidents were in favor Sunday of not playing sports in the conference this fall. Michigan and Michigan State — which both have physicians as presidents — were among the schools in favor of not playing, sources said. 

Multiple sources said early Monday morning that presidents voted 12-2 to not play this fall, though the Big Ten said Monday afternoon no official vote had taken place. Dan Patrick, who first reported the 12-2 vote, said on his radio show that Iowa and Nebraska were the two schools in favor or playing.

[ Jim Harbaugh says college football should be played, explains why ]

The sources requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the decision. A formal announcement was expected Tuesday, multiple sources said early Monday. The situation was fluid, sources said, as the Big Ten wanted to coordinate any announcement with other Power Five conferences. 

Since then, coaches and players in the conference, including Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh, Ohio State’s Ryan Day and Nebraska’s Scott Frost and OSU quarterback Justin Fields, have lobbied for the season to commence this fall. 

“Swinging as hard as we possibly can right now for these players!! This isn’t over!,” Day tweeted. 

Harbaugh ended his statement released by the university with the hashtags: #WeWantToPlay and #WeWantToCoach.

On Monday afternoon, after those statements, ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit tweeted: “To be clear regarding (Big Ten football) and their impending announcement – they are looking TO DELAY the start of the season NOT TO CANCEL.” 

“As we know this is a very fluid and ongoing situation,” Herbstreit said in a follow-up tweet. “Things are said one minute and changed the next. So we’ll see what happens in the next 24-48 hours. Numerous options in play. We can all hope there will be CFB at some point.”

The Chicago Tribune reported around noon that “a top-level” Big Ten source texted that, “No final decisions have been made,” while the Columbus Dispatch reported as of 12:25 p.m. that Ohio State had not yet been ordered to suspend practices.

The news of a delay or cancellation comes two days after the Mid-American Conference became the first in the FBS to cancel ts season.

Sources told the Free Press on Saturday that Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren prefers a spring football season, although no decision has been made. 

On Monday, Michigan State football moved its scheduled off day from Tuesday to Monday because of the uncertainty of the 2020 season, three people with direct knowledge of the situation told the Free Press. The program still held its scheduled off-day walk-through. 

Iowa also canceled Monday’s 11 a.m. practice, according to the Des Moines Register. And Purdue reportedly rescheduled its media availability. 

[ Seidel: Big Ten football canceling would be a gut punch. I wish they were able to wait longer

As of Monday morning, MSU and Michigan players had not yet been told of any decision to cancel the 2020 season, sources at each school said. Two sources said MSU coaches were hopeful more information would be provided Monday.

Presidents were trying to figure out how all this fits with other conferences and they want athletic directors to handle logistics of determining if spring season is possible, sources said. The situation reportedly is changing by the hour, which is why the Big Ten has not made its announcement official.

Last week, the Big Ten revealed an updated 10-game conference-only schedule for 2020, and on Friday teams in the conference opened fall camp.

The limbo of the Big Ten schedule comes as players across the nation are opting out because of concerns about how the virus could impact their short- and long-term health. Four Michigan State players said they wouldn’t play in 2020, and one team source said more players were expected to follow. 

MSU linebacker Marcel Lewis, who opted out Saturday, said he lost a family member to the virus and doesn’t want to risk play. Offensive tackle Justin Stevens, who also opted out Saturday, said he has a respiratory condition that could make him high risk. A number of other players around the Big Ten — including Minnesota wide receiver Rashod Bateman, Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons and Purdue wideout Rondale Moore — also announced they would not play this season and begin preparation for the 2021 NFL draft.

Indiana offensive lineman Brady Feeney, whose is suffering from COVID-19-related heart issues and whose mother wrote an impassioned message imploring the college football world to take the virus seriously, took to Twitter on Monday morning with his own urging schools and players “to listen to our medical experts.”

“Covid-19 is serious,” Brady Feeney wrote. “I never thought that I would have serious health complications from this virus, but look at what happened.”

Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security and one of the members of the group advising the NCAA on COVID-19, told the Free Press on Saturday a college football season no longer appeared feasible. 

“When we were trying to think about ways to make it safe, we were at a time when there was kind of more control of the virus, and you’ve got less control of the virus now than we had several months earlier during when the stay at home orders were just starting to be lifted,” Adalja said. “And then the other thing that’s made it what made it much more difficult is football is a contact sport, which is going to require some amount of testing of players. The turnaround times for for outpatient testing are really unacceptable for being able to safely clear somebody to play.

“When you have this type of problem with testing, where it might take days to get a result back, it really makes it extremely challenging for this to occur.”

Both MSU president Samuel Stanley (immunology and infectious diseases) and U-M president Mark Schlissel (immunology and internal medicine) are medical doctors.

Early Monday morning, players across the nation began uniting with the hashtag: ‘WeWantToPlay.’ Michigan defensive back Hunter Reynolds, who helped organize a unity statement among Big Ten players last week, told the Free Press early Monday morning that he hoped the movement “can save fall college sports in general.”

“Obviously, you know there are gonna be risks with playing sports this fall, especially in the midst of COVID-19,” Reynolds said. “But I think, as athletes, we feel that if the schools are unified and uniform in doing everything in their power to ensure our well-being and safety that that’s a risk that a lot of people are willing to take.”

Contact Orion Sang at osang@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @orion_sang. Read more on the Michigan Wolverines and sign up for our Wolverines newsletter.

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cancels Sources

Sources: MAC Cancels Fall College Football Season – Stadium

  • College Football
  • August 8,2020

The Mid-American Conference has canceled its football season this fall because of player health and safety concerns regarding COVID-19, sources told Stadium.

The 12-member MAC is the first Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) conference opting not to play this fall. On Wednesday, UConn, an independent, became the first FBS school to announce it would not play this year. The MAC intends to try to play in the spring, sources said.

The MAC reached its decision Saturday morning in a vote by the league’s presidents, sources said. The conference presidents initially met Thursday to finalize the league’s scheduling format. However, Northern Illinois president Lisa Freeman, a former research scientist at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, indicated her school would not play this fall because of the health and safety concerns, sources said.

“The league didn’t like the look of NIU going out on their own and not playing,” said a source, explaining the MAC’s non-vote on Thursday.

The Huskies have made a league-record eight MAC title game appearances and won four of the last nine MAC titles. After the league didn’t reach a decision Thursday, it voted Saturday not to play this fall, sources said.

Besides the health and safety concerns, the MAC was one of the leagues most impacted financially by the Power Five’s decision to eliminate or reduce non-conference games. The MAC had 11 games canceled against Big Ten members, costing MAC schools a combined $10.5 million. Bowling Green State lost $2.2 million, Central Michigan lost $2.15 million, Kent State lost $1.5 million and NIU lost $1.1 million.

After the Big Ten announced its conference-only format last month, Bowling Green State athletic director Bob Moosbrugger called the decision “the tip of the iceberg. Ten FBS conferences have signed a college football playoff agreement with an expectation that we will work together for the good of college football. If we are to solve these challenges and be truly dedicated to protecting the health and safety of our student-athletes, we need to do a better job of working together.”

At the time, MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said the league’s intent “was in playing a full schedule. [Those non-conference games] are very valuable. We’ll now have to step back and contemplate what that means for us.”

The MAC was established in 1946. The current membership consists of Akron, Ball State, Bowling Green State, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Miami (Ohio), Northern Illinois, Ohio, Toledo and Western Michigan.

Several smaller Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) conferences also have canceled their fall football seasons. The NCAA announced Wednesday all Division II and III fall sports championships would be canceled.

The question now is this: Will other FBS leagues follow suit and cancel their seasons?

“A Group of Five league canceling would make our presidents more nervous in an already nerve-racking time,” a Group of Five athletic director said.

Added a Power Five AD: “Everyone understands the financial implications without a football season, but will the other conference presidents want to take the chance of something happening on campus — [like] a major COVID outbreak that shuts down the football program and the campus? That would be a major PR hit and then there’s the liability concerns.

“Who knows? I guess we’ll find out soon enough.”

MORE: Idaho Football Players Don’t Want to Play This Fall

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Commissioner Sources

Sources – MLB commissioner warns of shutdown if coronavirus isn’t better managed – ESPN

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When is it time for MLB to cancel the season? (1:04)

Jessica Mendoza wonders if MLB should keep playing after the Cardinals reported multiple positive tests for the coronavirus. (1:04)

4:55 PM ET

  • Jeff PassanESPN

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      ESPN MLB insider


      Author of “The Arm: Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports”

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred told MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark on Friday that if the sport doesn’t do a better job of managing the coronavirus, it could shut down for the season, sources familiar with the conversation told ESPN.

The league and players recognize the coming days are a critical juncture following an outbreak among the Miami Marlins in which 21 members of the organization have tested positive for COVID-19. Two positive tests by St. Louis Cardinals players on Friday exacerbated concerns inside the sport about the presence of the coronavirus and whether the jointly agreed-upon protocols are being followed properly to prevent outbreaks similar to Miami’s.

Should another outbreak materialize, Manfred, who has the power to shut down the season, could move in that direction. Multiple players briefed on the call fear the season could be shut down as soon as Monday if positive tests jump or if players continue not to strictly abide by the league’s protocols.

State and local governments have pressured baseball about players skirting the mandates outlined in the league’s 113-page operations manual, sources told ESPN. Broadcasts that have shown players high-fiving, spitting and not wearing masks have left government officials wondering how seriously players are taking the protocols, sources said.

Further, there is concern about off-the-field choices, with one high-ranking official saying: “There are some bad decisions being made.”

The Cardinals’ game against the Milwaukee Brewers was postponed Friday and rescheduled to a doubleheader Sunday. Already, the Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies, who last played Miami on Sunday, were missing scheduled games, leaving 20% of the league’s Friday slate empty.

Major League Baseball and the MLBPA on Friday jointly announced the results of COVID-19 testing through Thursday. Of the 11,895 samples taken over the past week, there were 29 positive tests — 20 by players and nine by staff members.

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Sources Thibodeau

Sources — Tom Thibodeau finalizing 5-year deal to be coach of New York Knicks – ESPN

The New York Knicks and Tom Thibodeau are finalizing a five-year deal to make him the franchise’s next head coach, sources tell ESPN.

Knicks president Leon Rose and agent Spencer Breecker of CAA Sports were working Saturday to complete contractual terms, and a signed agreement is expected in the near future, sources said.

Rose and executive vice president William Wesley are completing a two-month search process, with Thibodeau long expected to emerge with the job. Together, they’ll be tasked with the daunting challenge of restoring a forlorn franchise to NBA relevance.

New York is counting on Thibodeau, who has a history in player development as a head coach and assistant, to put into place a program that will restore a competitive infrastructure with the Knicks. For now, Rose and Thibodeau inherit a roster that needs dramatic upgrades before a return to Eastern Conference contention is a realistic aspiration.

New York was 21-45 this season, missing the playoffs for the sixth straight year.

Thibodeau is 11th in career winning percentage for coaches with 500 or more games. He has a 352-246 (.589) record in eight seasons with Chicago and Minnesota.

Thibodeau, 62, comes to the Knicks after a tumultuous two-plus seasons with the Timberwolves that included the franchise’s first playoff berth in 14 years — and an unraveling centered on All-Star Jimmy Butler‘s trade demand that led to Thibodeau’s dismissal as president and coach in 2019.

Thibodeau had five playoff seasons with the Bulls, including a trip to the Eastern Conference finals and an NBA Coach of the Year award in 2011. A series of injuries to MVP Derrick Rose played a role in derailing the Bulls’ championship aspirations.

Thibodeau was a Knicks assistant under Jeff Van Gundy from 1996 to 2004 and has long desired to return to New York as a head coach. He’s a native of New Britain, Connecticut.

Orlando Magic coach Steve Clifford, a close friend of Thibodeau’s who worked with him in New York on Van Gundy’s staff, found out about the news during the Magic’s scrimmage against the Los Angeles Lakers.

“It’s great news,” Clifford said after the game during a video call. “As soon as we get back [to the hotel], I’ll call him. Look, he’s one of my closest friends. He’s one of the best coaches in the league and he understands New York. He was in New York for a long time. New York is a different animal. He understands the fan base, he understands the New York media, and he’s a great, great coach. So he’ll do great there and it’s a great hire on their part.”

Magic point guard D.J. Augustin, who had a career renaissance under Thibodeau in 2013-14 as a member of the Bulls, said he enjoyed his experience with the demanding Thibodeau and appreciated how hard he coached.

“For me, it was great,” Augustin said. “I’ve heard a lot of stories about Thibs, but for me, it was great. If you don’t want to play for a coach that’s going to really coach you and be hard on you, you don’t want to be great, so I loved playing for Thibs. He was a great coach, great guy, great motivator, so I’m really happy for him and I’m excited that he got that job. That’s a great job for him and for that organization.”

ESPN’s Nick Friedell contributed to this report.

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reveal Sources

Sources reveal details of call among 80 NBA players led by Kyrie Irving – The Athletic

As the NBA nears the resumption of the 2019-20 season on July 31, a new reality is beginning to emerge.

The NBA’s Board of Governors approved a 22-team return format for the season last week, followed by the National Basketball Players Association ratifying it the next day, beginning seemingly inevitable momentum toward a return to play out the conclusion of the season that was halted in March. However, there is now a group of players looking to take a stand by not playing in the league’s intended resumption and their primary reason for doing so would be in support of the nationwide movement fighting for social justice reform.

Sources tell The Athletic that a group consisting of 80-plus players — including NBPA vice president Kyrie Irving, NBPA president Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Donovan Mitchell and Avery Bradley — discussed finding unity and a way to attack a cause amid the nationwide unrest stemming from…

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MLBPA Sources

Sources — MLBPA proposes 89-game season and expanded playoffs – ESPN

8:00 PM ET

  • Jeff PassanESPN

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      Author of “The Arm: Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports”

The Major League Baseball Players Association has made a proposal to MLB for a season of 89 games, with a full prorated share of salary and expanded playoffs, sources familiar with the situation told ESPN on Tuesday.

It would bring the sides closer to a potential deal because it is 25 games fewer than the union’s most recent proposal of 114 games at full pro rata, sources told ESPN.

But an MLB source familiar with the negotiations told ESPN’s Karl Ravech that the proposal is a nonstarter.

“Out of concern for the players’ health, extending the regular season past Sept. 27 won’t happen,” the source told Ravech. “There is a window of playing between 60 [and] 70 regular-season games, but pay still remains an issue.”

MLB on Monday proposed a 76-game season that would cover up to 75% of players’ prorated salaries.

This newest MLBPA proposal would have the season start on July 10 and end on Oct. 11, a source told ESPN’s Jesse Rogers. It also would expand the postseason to 16 teams (eight in each league) for 2020 and 2021.

Like MLB’s proposal on Monday, this offer has the players sharing in a pool of at least $50 million if the playoffs are played without fans.

The proposal includes opt-out rights for all players. Players who are “high-risk” or reside with a “high-risk” individual are entitled to full service and salary in the event that they opt out.

Players with no high-risk concerns may opt out without service or salary. High-risk qualification is to be determined by the MLBPA in consultation with medical experts.

Players also are committing to providing broadcast enhancements for both regular-season and postseason games.

MLB’s Monday proposal to players on a return-to-play economic package offered a higher potential salary than the previous plan but less guaranteed money over a 76-game season.

Players and officials at the MLBPA quickly scoffed at the proposal, which was obtained by ESPN, continuing the gridlock that has prevented MLB from returning after the coronavirus-related delay to the beginning of its season.

If the sides are unable to agree to a deal, the league has the ability to implement a schedule of its desired length. It has focused recently on a potential 48-game season, sources told ESPN.

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MLBPA Sources

Sources – MLBPA to counter MLB proposal with more games, full prorated salaries – ESPN

12:26 AM ET

  • Jeff PassanESPN

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      ESPN MLB insider


      Author of “The Arm: Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports”

The Major League Baseball Players Association expects to counter MLB’s economic proposal by the end of this week with a plan that includes more than 100 games and a guarantee of full prorated salaries for the 2020 season, sources familiar with union discussions told ESPN.

The disagreement over economics has ratcheted up in recent days after the league’s first proposal Tuesday rankled players. On multiple phone calls Wednesday, players essentially pledged to ignore the league’s proposal and instead offer one of their own, according to sources familiar with the calls.

Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer, one of eight players on the MLBPA’s powerful executive subcommittee, tweeted Wednesday that the significant pay cuts in the league’s proposal would not be accepted and the union would remain committed to players receiving their full prorated salaries.

“After discussing the latest developments with the rest of the players there’s no need to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions,” Scherzer wrote.

pic.twitter.com/nWKtqGSQo4

— Max Scherzer (@Max_Scherzer) May 28, 2020

MLB’s proposal called for pay reductions on top of players’ already prorated salaries, which would be scaled to reflect the number of games played. In MLB’s 82-game proposal, Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout would be paid less than $6 million, compared to the $19 million-plus he would receive prorated. Although the pay cuts would be less severe for a large swath of lower-paid players, the union’s rancor was clear and immediate.

The union’s desire to play more games could be used as a chip for a negotiation to reach a return-to-play deal. For now, however, if players are being paid on a prorated basis, more games will lead to larger salaries for players. The league has balked at a longer schedule, fearful that a potential second wave of the coronavirus could wipe out the postseason — and the lucrative national television money that comes with it.

In a presentation to players, MLB said it would lose a significant amount of money if games are played in 2020 and players receive their full pro rata salary. The union has held firm that a March 27 agreement between the parties ensures the players their prorated share, while the league believes that language in the agreement calls for a good-faith negotiation in the event that games are played in empty stadiums.

The union remains skeptical of the data the league shared that showed significant losses across the sport and recently submitted additional document requests to the league in search of information about local television revenue, national television revenue, sponsorship revenue and projections from teams.

“We have previously negotiated a pay cut in the version of prorated salaries, and there’s no justification to accept a 2nd pay cut based upon the current information the union has received,” Scherzer wrote in his statement. “I’m glad to hear other players voicing the same viewpoint and believe MLB’s economic strategy would completely change if all documentation were to become public information.”

MLB has proposed playing in front of no fans in games starting the first week in July, though that timeline could be pushed back if labor discussions stretch on and preclude spring training 2.0 starting in mid-June.

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