MLBPA Responds To MLB Canceling Additional Regular Season Games

MLB and the Players Association (MLBPA) reportedly made progress on several economic matters, but failed to reach a deal on a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) by the league’s latest self-imposed deadline, prompting commissioner Rob Manfred to cancel two additional regular season series.

The latest act will amount to the 2022 schedule not beginning until Thursday, April 14, at the earliest. “The owners’ decision to cancel additional games is completely unnecessary,” the union said in a statement after the announcement.

“After making a set of comprehensive proposals to the league earlier this afternoon, and being told substantive responses were forthcoming, Players have yet to hear back.

“Players want to play, and we cannot wait to get back on the field for the best fans in the world. Our top priority remains the finalization of a fair contract for all Players, and we will continue negotiations toward that end.”

Manfred previously canceled March 31 Opening Day and the first two series of the regular season when a prior CBA deadline passed earlier this month.

MLB indicated going past Tuesday’s deadline without a CBA in place would not allow for a 162-game season to be played, or players to receive full salaries and service time credit. Though, the league cannot unilaterally decide as much.

The latest stumbling blocks in negotiations were the qualifying offer aspect of free agency and potentially implementing an international draft. MLB proposed tying an international draft to the removal of draft pick compensation in free agency, but players the MLBPA at the idea.

The league then presented three options to players to choose from if they wished to continue negotiating. Once the MLBPA declined each proposal, Manfred moved forward with canceling additional regular season games.

One option was to outright eliminate the qualifying offer and add an international draft. A second choice was to keep the qualifying offer part of free agency, but the current process for signing amateur international players as well.

Lastly, the union was given the option to wait on a formal decision with respect to an international draft (that would begin in 2024) until Nov. 15, 2022. However, if the union decided at that point to forgo an international draft, MLB would retain the right to reopen the CBA. That effectively would turn a five-year deal into one that could span only three years.

Temporary agreement reached on international draft & qualifying offer

One day after additional games were removed from the 2022 schedule, MLB and the MLBPA resumed CBA talks Thursday morning. The sides reportedly agreed that a final decision for an international draft doesn’t need to be made until July 25, which will also impact the qualifying offer status.

With an agreement on that front in place, MLB presented their counteroffer that the union is now voting on.

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