Labor Update: No deal between MLB, MLBPA after first meeting since December 2nd
Yesterday, the MLB and MLBPA met for the first time since early December to resume discussions on ending the first work stoppage in 26 years. How much progress was made between the two sides? None.
An agreement between the MLB and MLBPA to end the lockout needs to happen by February 1st to avoid any types of delay in Spring Training, which is scheduled to start in the middle of the month. From there, if Major League Baseball is still locked out, a deal would need to be in place by March 1st in order to keep the regular season, which is supposed to begin on March 31st, on schedule.
During their first meeting in 43 days, Major League Baseball proposed three new offers yesterday.
The “Super Two” Arbitration Class
The top 22 percent of service time between two and three years would be eradicated over time so that all players between two and three years of service would have their salaries determined by a performance-based formula. The total amount of money going to this class would increase.
The players claim to value arbitration, which pits the two sides against each other.
In an attempt by the MLB to get rid of service-time manipulation, teams would be rewarded draft picks if they promoted their best prospects on Opening Day. If a team’s prospect played the majority of games in a season at the major league level, teams would be granted an extra draft pick.
Draft picks would also be awarded to teams of the players that win awards, such as rookie of the year, or a top 3 finalist for Cy Young and MVP.
The MLB proposed that the league implement a lottery draft for the top three picks. This would limit tanking, and teams would stop playing to lose at the end of the season. While the MLBPA seems to agree that a lottery system would work, they are stuck on having the top eight teams enter a lottery draft, rather than the three in the proposal.
The MLBPA would like to see more of their players eligible for free agency and arbitration and also wants a 12-team postseason to Major League Baseball’s 14-team idea. They are also looking for more money to be added to the minimum wage, which the MLB offered to bump up slightly from the current $570K.
Still, no progress was made yesterday, and it doesn’t appear that the luxury tax was even discussed, which has reportedly been a main point of contention among players and owners. The MLB want it to raise the luxury tax from $210 million to $240 million, which to date, is something that the MLB is unwilling to do.
Negotiations continue as we get closer to the Spring Training delay deadline on February 1st.
Mandatory Credit: The Associated Press