As MLB and the Players Association (MLBPA) met this week to continue collective bargaining agreement (CBA) negotiations, it appeared from the outside that some progress was being made even though they still have a lot more to work out.
During the negotiations on Monday, the union dropped their request for an age-based free agency model and revised their revenue sharing proposal.
The next day, MLB increased the minimum player salary and added a pre-arbitration bonus pool.
However, the players feel like there wasn’t much progress made and were ultimately disappointed by the offers, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle:
I asked a source with knowledge of today’s bargaining session about perceived movement from MLB on talks and source said “I’d hesitate to call it movement. The players’ reaction to this universally was, ‘What the f-, are you kidding me?’
— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) January 25, 2022
It isn’t good news for the potential of beginning the 2022 season on time as the two sides remain far apart of many key issues.
With January winding to a close, the assumption is a new CBA needs to be in place during the first few days of February if Spring Training camps are to open on time in the middle of next month.
March 1 is viewed as the deadline if Opening Day of the 2022 regular season is to remain March 31.
Report: MLB willing to cancel 2022 regular season games
During the negotiations, MLB reportedly threatened to cancel games during the 2022 regular season if the players are not willing to back off from more of their demands.
MLB owners likely see this as a scenario where losing some money now by canceling games is a lot better for them than long-term losses if they give into the players’ asks.
The players, who have more to lose, would like to see a larger share of the revenue as team payrolls have dropped by nearly 5% since their previous high in 2017 despite revenue increasing each season outside of 2020’s pandemic impacted season.
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