With the start of Spring Training already delayed, MLB and the Players Association returned to the negotiating table for another round of collective bargaining agreement (CBA) negotiations at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla.
While last week’s meeting only lasted a mere 15 minutes, Monday’s sit-down was said to be much longer. The two sides convened twice and reportedly spoke for more than an hour.
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 to four in their latest CBA proposal.
As has been the theme all offseason, the MLBPA wasn’t thrilled with the league’s offer, but there is some hope the talks were a step in the right direction, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today:
Union officials said they were underwhelmed by MLB’s latest proposal, while an MLB official called it a wide-ranging, productive conversation on a number of issues, still hoping to make progress towards reaching an agreement.
Although MLB again added to their pre-arbitration bonus pool model, it’s far off from the $115 million request last made by the union. The Players Association had previously been at $100 million, but sought to have 20% of second-year players remain in pre-arbitration.
Furthermore, the MLBPA wants the first eight picks in the MLB Draft be determined by a lottery while the league has countered with four. Among other issues the sides must resolve in the coming days are the luxury tax threshold and minimum salaries.
With still a lot of ground to make up, the league and union reportedly met again on Tuesday. It is believed that a new CBA must be in place by February 28 to avoid Opening Day being pushed back from March 31.
MLBPA likely to reject expanded playoffs without full 2022 season
A general assumption has been more playoff teams would be added with a new CBA, but that reportedly won’t hold true for 2022 if a full regular season is not played.
As for expanding the postseason field, MLB team owners reportedly prefer a format with 14 teams and the Players Association has countered at 12.
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