When MLB set a Feb. 28 deadline for a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) to be in place, it spurred plenty of activity as nine consecutive days of meetings were held with the Players Association (MLBPA) at Roger Dean Stadium.
There appeared to be enough progress late into the night of the deadline and MLB reset it for March 1. However, talks failed to advance and clear final hurdles. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred then announced Opening Day and the first two series of the regular season were canceled.
Shortly after came the announcement of more Spring Training games being removed from the docket. The Cactus League and Grapefruit League now aren’t scheduled to begin until Friday, March 18, at the earliest.
According to Evan Drellich and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, MLB now has set a Tuesday deadline for a new CBA if the union hopes to play a 162-game season and receive full pay:
Major League Baseball is pointing to a new deadline for players, sources told The Athletic: if a deal is not reached by Tuesday, then MLB has told the union the owners are likely to be unwilling to play a full 162-game schedule, or grant players full pay or service time. MLB also told the Players Association that without a deal Tuesday, MLB plans to cancel another week of games.
The MLBPA reportedly did not take well to MLB previously implementing a deadline, and are likely to have a similar stance now a second time around. Furthermore, team owners cannot unilaterally set a schedule or decide salary terms.
Such were contentious issues in 2020 when MLB tried to begin its season in the midst of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
MLB, MLBPA still apart on luxury tax
Although the Players Association once again gave into some of MLB’s demands with their latest proposal, changing the luxury tax threshold was not among them.
The MLBPA continues to ask for a competitive balance tax line of $238 million for the 2022 season and increase to $263 million by the final year of the CBA.
During negotiations at the beginning of March, the league countered at $220 million for the 2022, 2023 and 2024 seasons; $224 million in 2025 and $230 million in 2026. The luxury tax threshold was set at $210 million in 2021.
However, multiple reports indicate MLB has since come up to starting the CBT at $228 million for 2022 and rising to $238 million by the end of the CBA. But that also came with an unspecified set of circumstances.
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