Labor Update: Major League Baseball’s lockout puts Spring Training start time in “grave danger”, minimal progress made in Tuesday’s meeting
Major League Baseball has been locked out for three months, and that isn’t going to change anytime soon. On Monday, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic put out a report saying a new CBA deal “is not close”. Rosenthal then mentioned that Spring Training and Opening Day starting on time is “in jeopardy”.
“Major League Baseball contends it is proposing a better deal for the players than the one under the most recent CBA…The Players Association contends that the deal is worse.”- Ken Rosenthal
And now today. After Major League Baseball and the Players Association met once again, it was reported by Jeff Passan that the “on-time opening of spring training is in grave danger”, and it would take a “miraculous deal coming together to rescue (spring training).”
There isn’t one specific issue that is holding everything back. Here’s a list of a small portion of the problems that are causing a delay in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
- Minimum Salary
- Luxury Tax
- Service-Time Negotiations
- Draft Lottery
Tuesday’s meeting lasted around the hour and a half mark, according to Bob Nightengale. A majority of the topics above were not mentioned today with the short ending of the meeting.
The minimum salary has been an extremely controversial negotiation between the players and owners and was grouped in the list of topics not brought up earlier today. The players want the salary to be raised from $570,500 to $775,000 (a two-year plan), while the owners have proposed a gradual rise over three years, starting at $615,000 in year one, $650,000 in a player’s second year, and $700,000 once they hit their third year.
The union believed this increase wasn’t enough per year and said: “The boost is barely above a cost-of-living increase”.
Major League Baseball’s original bonus pool proposal was a decrease of $10M. The players tried to negotiate but weren’t interested in dropping the pot that low. Their offer on Tuesday was a decrease of five million, from $105M to $100M.
The current luxury tax sits at $210 million. The players want an increase of $35M ($245M total), with a gradual climb to $273M by 2026. The league wants to stay where they are at, after two years of the pandemic has affected Major League Baseball financially.
It first seemed like continuous meetings between the two sides was progress itself, but with the current issues at hand, it doesn’t seem like an agreement will occur soon. With Spring Training set to begin in the middle of February, a deal not set in stone in the near future is setting up a delayed start to the 2022 season.
Spring Training and Opening Day are officially in jeopardy.
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