MLB Lockout Rumors: Players Association Making CBA Offer Sunday

Despite meeting for nine consecutive days at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla., MLB and the Players Association (MLBPA) were unable to come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) before the league’s self-imposed March 1 deadline.

It prompted commissioner Rob Manfred to cancel Opening Day and the first two series of the regular season. That marked the first time since the players’ strike in 1994-95 that regular season games have been canceled due to a work stoppage.

Two days after negotiations stalled, MLB deputy commissioner Dan Halem and MLBPA lead negotiator Bruce Meyer met in New York on Thursday for an informal conversation. They reportedly discussed key issues and the pacing of talks going forward.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the Players Association is now preparing their first counteroffer as CBA talks with MLB continue:

Officials from the Major League Baseball Players Association are preparing a written response to MLB’s last offer on a new collective bargaining agreement that preceded the league canceling the first week of the regular season, sources familiar with the union’s plans told ESPN.

With the MLB lockout approaching its 100th day, there is a sense of urgency for both sides to get a deal done as soon as possible to avoid additional regular season games being canceled. The league and union are scheduled to meet Sunday, when the counteroffer will be made.

MLB announced on Friday that Cactus League and Grapefruit League games will not be played until Friday, March 18, at the earliest. All Spring Training games through March 7 previously were postponed by MLB.

MLBPA open to 14-team expanded postseason may spark CBA negotiations

While it’s unclear what the parameters of the MLBPA’s upcoming offer will look like, there is hope that revisiting MLB’s desired 14-team expanded postseason could spark CBA negotiations.

According to multiple reports, a 14-team postseason would amount to a $100 million television rights contract between ESPN and MLB. That figure is believed to be $85 million if the playoffs only expand to 12 teams — which had been what was unofficially agreed to in the latest talks.

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