MLB Lockout: Dan Halem, Bruce Meyer Meet For Informal CBA Negotiations

Despite meeting for nine consecutive days at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla., MLB and the Players Association (MLBPA) were unable to get a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) in place by the league’s self-imposed deadline.

That resulted in the MLB lockout continuing and commissioner Rob Manfred canceling Opening Day along with the first two series of the regular season. “This is a historic, yet unfortunate event for MLB’s future and present. The lockout will continue and talks will reportedly be stalled for at least some time,” he said during a press conference.

Shortly after, MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said the union was more than willing to carry on with CBA negotiations.

According to Evan Drellich of The Athletic, the first step since talks broke down earlier this week is MLB deputy commissioner Dan Halem and MLBPA lead negotiator Bruce Meyer sitting down for an informal meeting:

With CBA negotiations stalling after the Players Association rejected what they said MLB deemed a “best and final offer,” it was suggested by Manfred that the onus fell to the union to restart talks.

While the league setting a deadline for a new CBA to be agreed to was largely considered arbitrary, time remains an important factor. The start of Spring Training already had been postponed until at least March 8, and that figures to again be pushed back.

There’s a general belief Spring Training needs to be four weeks long in order for players to adequately prepare for the 2022 season.

Key issues for MLB and MLBPA

Despite reports of progress in negotiations late Monday night, significant differences remained in setting the luxury tax thresholds and establishing a pre-arbitration bonus pool, among other key areas.

The union sought a competitive balance tax line of $238 million for the 2022 season and increase to $263 million by the final year of the CBA.

In MLB’s last offer, the luxury tax threshold was proposed at $220 million for the 2022, 2023 and 2024 seasons; then $224 million in 2025 and $230 million in 2026.
The luxury tax threshold was set at $210 million in 2021.

With the pre-arbitration bonus pool, the MLBPA lowered their ask from $115 million to $85 million, but with $5 million annual increases. The league topped out at $30 million.

Minimum salary is yet another discrepancy, with the Players Association at $725,000 and increasing throughout the CBA. MLB has offered a $700,000 minimum salary and topping out at $740,000 over the course of the agreement.

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