Labor Update: MLB, MLBPA make slight progress in Monday’s meeting, set to meet again today
Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association met on Monday morning in another bargaining meeting and surprisingly took a small step forward in the process. The two sides are set to meet again on today to continue their talks, according to Jeff Passan.
“In the face-to-face meeting that lasted about two hours, the union offered a broad proposal in which it dropped its request for age-based free agency and significantly cut the amount of revenue sharing it asked the league to funnel away from small-market teams, according to sources.” – Jeff Passan
To date, the bargaining meetings to find a common ground amongst the players and owners have not gone as planned. The pre-lockout meeting lasted just eight minutes, and the two sides left on bad terms. Since then, there have been two additional meetings and a third one scheduled for Tuesday.
Any progress is progress for the MLB right now
The players and owners did make slight progress in Monday’s meeting. The meeting on Monday was face-to-face, and the second meeting in two days scheduled for tomorrow will be in-person as well. The meeting only included four people from each side, featuring Dan Halem and Dick Monfort from the owners’ party, and Bruce Meyer and Andrew Miller from the players’ party.
Minimum salary, age-based free agency, and a three-team draft lottery are making headlines as controversial negations. The MLB Players Association held their ground on their request for a $240,500 raise of the minimum salary, going from $575,500 to $775,000.
The players denied three of their original offers on Monday that were negotiated by the MLB, including a formula-based salary system, draft-pick rewards for prospects on opening day, and the three-team lottery proposal.
The Players Association’s three-team lottery proposal was originally recommended as an “NBA-style” lottery, where the three worst teams in the MLB would enter a lottery to obtain the first pick in the draft, preventing “tanking”.
Although it seems like no progress has been made, both sides sending back counter-negotiations is progress in itself. Players and Owners were not interested in any offers made by the opposition during earlier dates, but have now advanced to negotiating deals instead of turning them down. What began as a standoff has now turned into the two sides briefly discussing terms, and figuring out what’s best for both sides.
The deal is going to take multiple meetings, but having the two sides meet back-to-back days is a dim light at the end of the tunnel. An agreement between the MLB and MLBPA to end the lockout needs to happen by February 1st to avoid any type 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 scheduled to begin on March 31st.
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