MLB and the Players Association (MLBPA) find themselves in a race against time to reach a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) before the league’s self-imposed Feb. 28 deadline to avoid the regular season being delayed.
The two sides have held meetings on three consecutive days this week and plan to continue doing so until a new CBA is in place. There hasn’t been much progress thus far, with the league and union still far apart on key economic issues.
On Monday, MLB 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. The Players Association responded by asking that only 75% of eligible players reach Super Two status and the first seven picks in the MLB Draft be determined via a lottery.
With not much movement in the latest round of negotiations, MLB again requested the involvement of a federal mediator, which was rejected by the MLBPA, according to Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post:
MLB again suggested a mediator Tuesday, but the union again wasn’t biting. Not a formal request like league made previously, per a person familiar with the situation.
— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) February 22, 2022
The Players Association declined MLB’s first request for involvement from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) to help CBA negotiations earlier this month, suggesting at the time that it would be best to find a resolution themselves.
Mediators were previously used during the players’ strikes in 1981 and 1994; the latter of which did not lead to a resolution and ultimately saw the World Series canceled. A federal mediator was successful with the 2013 NHL lockout and MLS strike in 2015.
MLB considers latest CBA proposal from MLBPA ‘step backward’
MLB team owners reportedly believe the MLBPA took a step back with their latest CBA proposal on Tuesday, which could prove troublesome as the players very clearly are aligned and determined to see gains that better align with the league’s revenues and trajectory.
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