8:50 pm: MLB has offered to raise its basic welfare tax threshold to $228 million next season, with that figure rising to $238 million over the course of the CBA, Drillich Reports. That’s a fairly noticeable jump over previous MLB bids to start that label at $220 million and rise to $230 million by 2026, and it would be an annual jump of $18 million from last year’s $210 million.
However, Drelish cautions that the league’s offer to move on CBT came with “major associated limitations”. Those terms are not clear, though the MLB has sought a 14-team playoff court and an international amateur draft in previous proposals and could once again attempt to obtain MLBPA approval for either or both themes. The union was seeking to increase CBT to $238 million next season and move to $263 million by the end of the CBA.
8:29 pm: after yesterday suggestion From the MLB Players Association to the hostile league, the top negotiators gathered today, Athletic’s Evan Drelish reports (Twitter link). They are expected to meet again tomorrow, and the MLB suggested that these discussions may be of particular interest.
Drillic reports that the league is looking at tomorrow as the deadline for a new collective bargaining agreement being put in place to conduct a 162-game season (and with it, a full year of salary and service time for players). He and his colleague Ken Rosenthal Add The league has informed the federation that it expects to cancel another week’s matches if an agreement is not reached. Commissioner Rob Manfred already announce The first two series of the regular season were canceled last week, and the league had previously insisted that those matches should not be fabricated. It now appears that the MLB is willing to consider that possibility, although only if the new CBA is completed on Tuesday.
This is at least the second time (arguably the third) that the league has imposed a deadline for an agreement to avoid losing regular season games. The MLB had previously set February 28 at 11:59 PM EST as the mark to avoid delays on opening day. As the parties began to bridge the gap in negotiations that evening, the league postponed the deadline to March 1 at 5:00 p.m. EST. In the end, no deal was reached – the league claimed the league raised its demands overnight, while the MLBPA accused the league of exaggerating the previous night’s progress in the first place – and Manfred announced the cancellation of the first two series that evening.
The union expressed its dissatisfaction with this decision. The MLB unilaterally instituted the shutdown and set the end of February as the deadline for an agreement, while the MLBPA emphasized that further negotiations must move forward without canceling the game. It is not clear if the federation views the league’s deadline for tomorrow in the same way. We’re more than three weeks away from our originally scheduled opening day, March 31. It seems likely that with those first two series already cancelled, the path to 162 games may involve reworking the schedule and/or putting two heads up rather than just putting those games back on the agenda.
Even if the shutdown continues to the point where everyone agrees a 162-game season isn’t viable, it stands to reason that the federation would embark on some effort to recover lost wages and service time. MLB put the shutdown in place, after all, and the game’s initial cancellation was imposed over the union’s objections. In the immediate aftermath of Manfred’s announcement, MLBPA’s chief negotiator Bruce Meyer stated that the league’s position is that players should be compensated for the games they lost. As MLBTR’s Steve Adams noted last week, there’s been a battle over Service time It could be more important than any dispute over wages.
It remains to be seen if the parties will be able to come to an agreement tomorrow, but the latest term has not been promising. There is still a significant gap on issues such as the competitive balance tax and the reward pool for players before arbitration. Rosenthal wrote yesterday The league is willing to move in favor of players in CBT in exchange for concessions by the union in other regions, but MLB’s other demands are not clear.
The league made a formal counter-proposal to the latest PA show on today’s call, USA Today’s Bob Nightingale reports (Twitter link). According to Nightengale, these “(included) flexibility on many issues”, but the union didn’t seem to view it favorably. One player participates in discussions Rosenthal tells The show remained very tilted toward MLB interests, while another said it “Finished getting his hopes upto an agreement.
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