More than a month has passed since the 2017-21 collective bargaining agreement between Major League Baseball and the Players Association expired, prompting team owners to impose a lockout that took effect immediately.
Despite the calendar now having turned to a new year, the league and union still do not have CBA meetings scheduled. That will have to change soon as pitchers and catchers are due to report to camps on or around February 14.
Since the start of the work stoppage, the two sides have only met twice to discuss non-core economic issues. When they get together again, more important matters such as competitive integrity and service-time manipulation figure to be addressed.
The luxury tax threshold is another issue that will be pivotal in MLB and the Players Association agreeing to a new CBA, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan:
Baseball does not have a salary cap, though having five teams tippy-toeing toward $210 million certainly looks like a soft one. It’s no surprise, then, that according to sources, the threshold is emerging as a potential focal point in any deal.
Teams have become increasingly wary of exceeding the luxury tax threshold as they don’t want to pay a penalty. This in turn has had a negative effect on free agency in recent years, with several notable players remaining unsigned late into the offseason and having to settle for a lesser contract.
The Dodgers were one of only two teams to go into the competitive balance tax territory last season and owe $32.65 million for the overage. In addition to a monetary penalty, the club had their first pick in the 2022 MLB Draft pushed back 10 spots and to 40th overall.
MLB preparing CBA proposals
Although there are no CBA meetings scheduled at this time, MLB is said to be preparing new CBA proposals for the Players Association.
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