With Major League Baseball and the Players Association (MLBPA) still at significant odds over core economics for a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA), Spring Training games will not take place t last until Saturday, March 5.
The two sides met on Saturday for the latest bargaining session, but the union was underwhelmed by MLB’s 130-page proposal.
As part of MLB’s counteroffer, the league asked for the ability to cut 900 Minor League players by reducing the number of players each team is allowed to roster from 180 to 150.
This was a non-starter for the MLBPA and are expected to reject any CBA that include cuts to Minor League teams, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan:
The league previously had proposed controlling the size of the Domestic Reserve List multiple times, each of which was rejected by the MLBPA, a union source said. While the union has not formally responded to the most recent version of the plan, the source said, the players intend to reject it and any future proposals that could cut minor league jobs.
This isn’t the first time the league has tried to cut costs related to the Minor Leagues.
In 2020, MLB dropped 40 Minor League teams as affiliates, which reduced the number of farm teams from 160 to 120 during the 2021 season.
Last November, MLB outlined a plan to provide furnished housing accommodations to more than 90% of Minor League players.
After reviewing the details of the policy, Advocates for Minor Leaguers hasdetermined that it falls short of expectations. In a statement, the advocacy group criticized MLB for not consulting with the players on the specifics of the plan.
Advocates for Minor Leaguers believes the policy “presents MLB teams the opportunity to cut costs rather than providing proper housing in any of three ways.”
MLB gave deadline for regular season
While the start of Spring Training has been delayed, MLB reportedly gave the Players Association a Feb. 28 deadline for a new CBA has to be in place in order for Opening Day of the regular season to still be held March 31.
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