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    Jesse Rogers

    ESPN Staff Writer

      Jesse joined ESPN Chicago in September 2009 and covers MLB for ESPN.com.

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  • Major League Baseball has proposed cutting the salaries of the highest-paid players in baseball, with the lowest-paid players taking lesser cuts from their full prorated shares, in its first economic proposal to the MLB Players Association, sources familiar with the situation told ESPN.

    The long-awaited plan, which was delivered to the union Tuesday afternoon, proposes that high-salaried players take significant reductions of what they will be paid during a prospective season, according to sources.

    While the size of the pay cuts is unclear, sources said the highest-paid players under the proposal would receive perhaps less than 40% of their full-season salaries.

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    As word of the proposal spread, players bristled at the notion of taking further pay reductions — particularly ones that would affect the highest-paid players — after a March agreement that they believe guarantees them a full prorated share of their salaries. Under that deal, players would receive slightly more than 50% of their agreed-upon salary over an 82-game season.

    MLB has disputed that agreement, believing that the language calls for a good-faith negotiation if games start without fans in the stands, which they would in early July with a deal.

    Tuesday’s proposal calls for a sliding scale, as USA Today first reported, that would mirror the pay cuts in some organizations, where the highest-paid employees have taken greater pay reductions, according to sources.