MLB Lockout Negotiations: Progress Made On Draft Lottery

MLB and the Players Association (MLBPA) are in the process of meeting every day this week at Roger Dean Stadium to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) ahead of the league’s February 28 deadline, which is now just two days away.

MLB has warned the union that Opening Day will be pushed back from March 31 and games will not be rescheduled if a deal isn’t reached by then. Despite a needed sense of urgency, the two sides remain far apart on the core economics of the sport.

Among the issues that must be resolved are the collective balance tax, minimum salary and establishing a pre-arbitration bonus pool. MLB and the MLBPA also are at odds over the percentage of players who would be deemed Super Two and go through arbitration.

One topic they appear to be aligned on is the implementation of a Draft lottery. According to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, the league and union are nearing an agreement for a new lottery Draft system:

The sides did make progress on one issue, closing in on an agreement for a new lottery draft system. They’re still debating how many teams should be in the lottery — the league wants four, the union wants seven — and how many consecutive seasons a team can enter it, but both sides indicated they were making progress. In fact, the league believes its offer on the lottery draft is the most aggressive in sports.

During a press conference at the conclusion of owners meetings in Orlando, commissioner Rob Manfred relayed that MLB and the MLBPA were in agreement on a Draft lottery. Of course, it cannot be considered official until a new CBA is in place.

While it appears likely that MLB will adopt a Draft lottery, both sides still need to iron out some details. The league is pushing for a system that would determine only the first four selections, while the union has countered at seven.

Furthermore, MLB and the MLBPA must agree on how many consecutive seasons a team can enter the lottery. The Players Association previously requested that stricter criteria be used for bigger-market teams to prevent them from consistently being eligible while proposing measures that would reward smaller-market clubs with additional draft compensation.

MLB cancels additional 2022 Spring Training games

With still no CBA in place, MLB announced that additional Spring Training games have officially been canceled. Cactus League and Grapefruit League games now will not be played until Tuesday, March 8, at the earliest. All Spring Training games through March 4 previously were postponed.

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