CC Sabathia is watching Major League Baseball players and owners negotiate from afar after retiring this past October. But he's concerned about the state of negotiations from a players' standpoint.
The former New York Yankees star believes owners have gained the upper hand in both negotiations and public perception through some savvy use of the media.
"I feel like the owners have been using the media a lot more,” Sabathia said on Thursday's "R2C2" podcast. "Just leaking that they had a proposal. ... Just the way that they've kind of been positioning themselves, I feel like it's put the players in a bad position."
MLB's proposal for an 82-game season in 2020 included a sliding pay scale that angered players, who would have been subject to large pay cuts. The MLBPA is expected to counter in the coming days with a proposal asking for a longer season and prorated portions of the players' regular salaries. The proposal has been characterized as "outlandish," and it'll likely be rejected.
Sabathia, who now works in the Yankees' front office as an adviser, understands the monetary concerns of both sides. But he's worried the haggling will harm the sport.
"They are at a negotiation, and they do have the (end of the collective bargaining agreement) coming," Sabathia said. "Nobody wants to hear all of that stuff though. We've just been missing sports and we want to get it back on."
The 39-year-old also thinks time isn't on the league's side if negotiations continue to move slowly.
"They need to be in spring training by, like, mid-June," he said. "'Cause you gotta start (the season) by July 4. I feel like anything later than July 4, like, what are we even doing?"