With Major League Baseball and the Players Association (MLBPA) still at significant odds over core economics for a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA), the start of Spring Training invariably has been delayed.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has yet to formally announce as much — going so far as to say last week that camps were scheduled to open as planned — but pitchers and catchers were due to report Tuesday and that didn’t occur due to a CBA not being in place.
It’s unclear when the league and union will next meet. Their latest bargaining session came Saturday, which the players reportedly were underwhelmed by a 130-page proposal.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the CBA offer from MLB included the potential to reduce the number of Minor League players each team can roster:
Major League Baseball asked for the ability to eliminate hundreds of minor league playing jobs in its latest labor offer to the MLB Players Association, sources familiar with the proposal told ESPN.
Currently, the Domestic Reserve List — which governs the number of minor league players a team can roster at any time — is at 180. The league proposed keeping the number at 180 for 2022 but allowing the commissioner’s office to reduce the maximum number of players to as few as 150 over the rest of the collective bargaining agreement, sources said. The proposal says the league could adjust the reserve list’s size “up or down.”
MLB, according to a league source, has no plans to reduce the size of the list in 2023 but wants the flexibility to do so in future seasons.
That MLB would raise possible changes to the Domestic Reserve List is a curious approach considering the acrimony that already exists with the MLBPA and because Minor League players are not directly part of the CBA.
As such, Dodgers general manager Brandon Gomes recently noted the organization’s Minor Leaguers had been working out at Dodger Stadium throughout the offseason and a large group had already arrived at Camelback Ranch for their Spring Training.
MLB gave deadline for regular season
While the start of Spring Training has unofficially been delayed, MLB reportedly gave the Players Association a deadline by which a new CBA has to be in place in order for Opening Day of the regular season to still be held March 31.
It’s not publicly known what the date is, but Manfred previously estimated Spring Training would need to be approximately four weeks.
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