MLB

Do MLB players get paid during a lockout?

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred canceled the first two series of the season, with more cancellations likely to come. Here’s how players will be affected.

The baseball world hung hope on Feb. 28 and March 1, watching closely as MLB ownership and the MLBPA entered into serious talks to strike a fair CBA and end the league-wide lockout.

As of 5 pm on March 1, the two sides failed to come to an agreement, prompting MLB commissioner Rob Manfred to cancel MLB Opening Day on March 31 as well as the first two series of the MLB season.

As players wait to have the MLBPA advance their interests and push for a more player-friendly CBA, the league holds firm and cancels games, which ultimately hurts players—and hits their pockets hard.

Do MLB players get paid during a lockout?

Players will not be compensated for games that are canceled due to the owner-imposed lockout, which creates a powerful tactic by which MLB owners can force the MLBPA into accepting a subpar deal. With every day that goes by, multi-millionaire players can lose out on hundreds of thousands of dollars per missed game. The Houston Chronicle illustrated how much several highly-paid Astros players and other MLB players could lose per canceled game.

  • Jose Altuve: $139,785/day
  • Justin Verlander: $134,409/day
  • Max Scherzer: $233,000/day
  • Gerrit Cole: $193,000/day

The situation is worse for big-name free agents like Carlos Correa and Freddie Freeman, who could lose leverage as the lockout drags out. In addition to the already-canceled games, players like Correa and Freeman will have to work out their own deals after the CBA deal is done—and every missed game will cost them.

While players will not be paid their salary during the lockout, MLB players “will receive any signing bonus or deferred salary payments.” This will affect players like Scherzer, because although he will lose his salary for every canceled game, he will receive a $15 million deferred salary payment on July 1.

The owner-led lockout still leaves MLB players vulnerable to financial pressure with the missed salary, but players who locked in lucrative deals before Dec. 1 are substantially more protected than those who didn’t.