With the start of Spring Training already delayed, MLB and the Players Association returned to the table for another round of collective bargaining agreement (CBA) negotiations and plan to meet every day this week.
On Monday, the two sides talked for more than an hour as pressure mounts to reach an agreement by the end of the month to avoid delaying the regular season. That was followed by more talks on Tuesday.
MLB attempted to make some concessions as they offered to increase their pre-arbitration bonus pool to $20 million and upped the number of teams that would qualify for a Draft lottery in their latest CBA proposal. However, the union remained underwhelmed by the offer.
As the sides remain far apart on many key areas including the core economics of the sport, MLB reportedly believes it is time for the MLBPA to compromise more, according to Jesse Rogers of ESPN:
The league believes it’s the union’s turn to compromise in a proposal regarding the CBT after recently tweaking its latest offer with modest sized increases in the final three years of the next collective bargaining agreement.
The union has already made many concessions in the negotiations, including dropping its request for an age-based free agency system, reducing its proposed number for the pre-arbitration pool and requesting that 75% of eligible players reach Super Two status instead of 100%.
While the sides remain far apart, the league and union have agreed to implement a Draft lottery system and the universal designated hitter, along with likely adding an expanded playoff format.
However, they still need to work out how many of the top picks are eligible for the Draft lottery and how many teams will participate in the postseason.
The MLBPA proposed to make the top eight picks part of the lottery while MLB countered with four.
Players Association likely to reject expanded postseason without full regular season
As for expanding the postseason field, MLB team owners reportedly prefer a format with 14 teams and the union has countered at 12.
It is still assumed that more playoff teams will be added with a new CBA, but that reportedly won’t hold true for 2022 if a full regular season is not played.
The league has been pushing to expand the postseason because of the excess revenue it brings in.
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