Latest on MLB’s Lockout and Discussions

Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association are three days in to a week of discussions to get a new collective bargaining agreement before there are games lost in the regular season.

Although it had been widely thought, MLB officially announced today that Monday, February 28th is a hard deadline for no games to be lost during the season. If no agreement is reached by that date, then MLB says that games will be lost. Furthermore, those games will not be made up, and paychecks will not be issued to players at a later date.

MLBPA said that if that is to the be that, then MLB will not get the expanded playoffs that they very much want.

In the three days that they have been not meeting, not much headway has been made in the discussions.

A little breakdown of where the times are currently at – MLB would like the minimum salary to be $640,000 per season, and the MLBPA would like to see it raised to $775,000. The Competitive Balance Tax threshold was $210M in 2021 and for this season would be $214M; the MLBPA would like it raised to $245M. And the pre-arbitration bonus pool is where the two sides are most far apart – MLB is at just $20M whereas the MLBPA have counter offered with $115M.

Insomuch, MLB’s only counter offer so far is to raise the minimum salary $10,000 per year, with this season being $640,000 and going up to $680,000 by 2026. They also withdrew their proposal for an alternate minimum system that was tiered based on service time.

As players are entering the big leagues younger and younger, the MLBPA is fighting for less time that players would have to wait to reach free agency and get their deserved contracts.

On Tuesday, the MLBPA proposed lowered arbitration eligibility from 80% to 75% of players with more than two years eligibility, going from eight teams to seven teams in a draft lottery, and the increase in minimum salary to $775,00 in first year, going up $30,000 in subsequent years.

MLB maintains that any change to arbitration eligibility is a non-starter for them.

Spring Training camps are not dependent on the two sides reaching a deal, as MLB has imposed this lockout, and it is not a strike by the players. The owners are working to force the players into agreeing to their terms by taking Baseball away. So far, it does not seem to be working. The MLBPA is ready to lose games, and pay, for more fair conditions for the players going forward.

Unless a lot of movement is made in the next four days, the full regular season is in peril. As discussions have been slow going so far this weekend, baseball is still seemingly far away.

For further reading, Jeff Passan has an excellent thread on Twitter about the negotiations

17 thoughts on “Latest on MLB’s Lockout and Discussions

  1. MLB’s announcement today that if no agreement is reached by Monday they will start canceling games and the games will not be made up, virtually insures that no agreement will be reached by Monday.

    The players will view this as a threat and they will be even more firm about not being pushed into a deal they don’t like.

    If I were on the owners’ committee the first thing I would propose is that spring training camps be opened up immediately to all players on 40 man rosters. That way, when an agreement is finally reached, even if it takes quite a ways into March, the season could start on time. What they are doing to themselves is a rushed spring training and that will lead to more injuries, some of which may very well be to their star players.

    The word compromise has officially been deleted from the dictionary.
    The color grey has been removed from the spectrum. There is only black and white.
    If you are not with me, you are against me.
    My way or the highway.
    Etc., etc., etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And furthermore, if I were on the players’ committee I would agree, for this year only, to a CBT of 220 million (far closer to the owners’ number than the players’) with the same penalties as in the previous agreement. The only proviso is that trades and free agent signings be allowed to start immediately.

      If no agreement is reached by opening day (an extra month to negotiate), it would be understood by both sides that games would be lost.

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    2. I’m now pretty sure the owners have now decided that if they can’t make money they don’t need baseball. And it will be “our way or the highway”. This now sounds like “break the union “. Owning a major keague baseball team is all about ego but the bottom line eventually takes presedence. The players have no real skills and little financial future. Some of their demands are outrageous and I think they’ve hit the wall. The owners can write it off and move on. I for one won’t be sorry to miss a season if that’s what it takes to clean up this mess. I’ve had enough of a bunch of laborers dictating how a business should be run. Just doesnt work that way in the real world. I would rather see all players say after 3 years, sign free agent contracts every year. That way they would be paid for performance or future performance. That way the arbritation and pre arbritation players would get paid for their perceived value. Would get rid of many 24 year old fringe players, and enhance the minor league teams.

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  2. I’m fed .up with both sides. I will Watch when they play, but no more inflated ticket prices, jerseys, $8 hot dogs, $12 beers, $5 waters for me. Screw them.

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    1. You speak for millions, Gary.
      Wouldn’t it be great if everyone would agree to stay away from opening day and they opened up to totally empty stadiums. Of course, that would never happen, but it would sure be a statement.

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      1. Maybe it should be Put out.
        Just when we think our world revolves around the baseball negotiations, Vladimir does us the service of showing us that there are still more important matters. Those poor people.

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      2. Bat sh*t crazy is global. Makes baseball look small, at the same time making it more important. Please, MLB, give us something to distract us.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Apparently there is some mutual interest, or at least Joe thinks so.
      I don’t see both Joe and Kenley returning. I’d rather have KJ than JK but obviously Joe would be far less expensive.
      Of course, Andrew might decide his bullpen is OK as is and there are other places he needs to spend his money.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ken Rosenthal’s latest proposal as reported in the Athletic, subscription required. I left out his justifications and discussion but the full article can be found here? https://theathletic.com/3147151/2022/02/24/rosenthal-lets-try-this-again-baseball-heres-what-a-deal-between-the-union-and-the-owners-should-look-like-now/?redirected=1

    • Minimum salary starting at $700,000 and escalating over the five-year term.

    • Pre-arb bonus pool for 0-to-3 year players in the $40 million to $50 million range.

    • A slight increase in the percentage of players eligible for arbitration after two years — say, from 22 to 30 percent.

    • Competitive-balance or luxury-tax thresholds starting in the $225 million-$230 million range and increasing to $245 million over the term. The financial penalties would be the same as in the previous agreement, but non-financial penalties such as draft picks and international bonus pool space would be removed.

    • Expanded playoffs consisting of 14 teams.

    • Draft lottery to determine the first six selections. Small-market teams earn an additional pick for finishing with a .500 record, and another for reaching the postseason.

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    1. I think what Rosenthal was saying was that both sides know they’ll eventually meet somewhere near the middle, so why not just do it now.

      He did have some more choice words about Manfred which no doubt would have gotten him kicked off MLB network if they hadn’t already done that for his previous remarks.

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  4. I suggest that fans now boycott any spring games. And regular season games too. Hit em in the wallet. They do not care about the fans one stinking iota. So why the hell should we care about them??

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      1. Exactly. I live over 100 miles from the nearest MLB team. The Rockies. But I can drive about 40 miles and see AAA baseball.

        Like

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