MLB lockdown: MLBPA not impressed with owners’ latest core economic proposal, report says

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On Saturday, Major League Baseball presented the MLB Players Association with a new basic economic proposal as the two sides continue to work through labor negotiations. The meeting, which lasted about an hour, was their first meeting in 11 days and their fifth in-person negotiation session of the landlord-initiated lockout.

The MLBPA will take time to fully consider MLB’s proposal, although it is unimpressed, reports Evan Drellich of The Athletic. The proposal combined several earlier smaller proposals and included the following adjustments, according to Drellich and ESPN’s Jesse Rogers:

  • Increase the bonus pool for pre-arbitration players from $10 million to $15 million. The MLBPA is seeking a pool of $100 million.
  • Raise minimum salary to $630,000 fixed (teams can pay more if they wish), or tiered fixed salary of $615,000 for players with 0-1 years of service, $650,000 for 1-2 years and $725,000 for 2 to 3 years. MLB previously offered $700,000 at 2-3 years. The MLBPA is looking for a minimum of $775,000 at all service time levels.
  • Increase competitive balance tax thresholds to $214 million, $214 million, $216 million, $218 million, and $222 million from 2022 to 2026. MLB’s previous offer included a threshold of $214 million from 2022 to 2024, $216 million in 2025 and $220 million in 2026. The MLBPA is targeting a threshold of $245 million in 2022. The threshold was $210 million in 2021.
  • Teams receive two draft picks if a star prospect finishes in the top three in a major multi-year vote to discourage service time manipulation. The MLBPA has proposed time-of-service bonuses tied to voting awards.

Earlier this week commissioner Rob Manfred said the owners would make a “good faith positive proposal with the aim of moving the process forward” on Saturday, although it was met with skepticism among the player ranks. While the league held its quarterly owners’ meetings in Orlando this week, the MLBPA held meetings in Arizona and Florida.

“My expectations don’t really matter,” said left-hander Andrew Miller, a member of the MLBPA’s executive subcommittee. say it New York Postby Dan Martin and Ken Davidoff on Thursday. “We’ll see him when he shows up (Saturday). We hope it’s something we can work with and it’s a real start to negotiations. We haven’t seen that yet. Talking is Good.”

MLB and MLBPA were not expected to reach a new agreement on Saturday. The hope is that MLB’s new proposal can serve as a springboard for more substantive talks, which have been rare so far during the lockdown. It is unclear when the two sides will meet again to discuss fundamental economic issues, the issues that will determine the end of the lockdown.

Spring training camps are set to open next week and that certainly won’t happen, although MLB has yet to officially announce a delay. Earlier this week, Manfred said he thought the players and the league needed around four weeks to prepare for the season. In this case, the two sides have about two weeks to come to an agreement before regular season games are in jeopardy.

“I’m an optimist and I believe we’ll get a deal in time to play our regular schedule,” Manfred said Thursday. “I view missing games as a disastrous outcome for this industry, and we are committed to reaching an agreement with the aim of avoiding this.”

The slow pace of MLB negotiations – the league waited 43 days after the lockout to make its first basic economic proposal – has made it likely spring training will be delayed and put off season games. regularly at risk. The league requested the assistance of a federal mediator last week, a request the MLBPA denied, saying “the clearest path to a fair and expeditious settlement is to return to the table.”

It should be noted that owners could lift the lockdown at any time, allowing spring training to open next week and full baseball operations to return. If the landlords lift the lockout, state labor relations law requires both parties to negotiate in good faith while operating under the terms of the just-expired collective bargaining agreement.

The owners have indicated no willingness to do so, although there is precedent. On March 31, 1995, current Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued a preliminary injunction against MLB, which ended the players’ strike and sent both sides back to the table while play resumed. MLB and MLBPA did not agree to a new collective bargaining agreement until March 1997.

Both MLB and MLBPA have made some progress in recent weeks. Among other things, the league says it is open to the union framework for a bonus pool for pre-arbitration players (as noted though, they are tens of millions of dollars off the pool size) and the baseball would have a universal designated hitter starting this season.

The collective agreement expired at 11:59 p.m. ET on December 1, and the owners immediately locked out the players. At 73+ days, it is the second longest work stoppage in baseball history, shorter than the 1994-95 strike alone (232 days).

Members of both sides have said they are willing to lose regular season games to get a fair deal, although they hope it doesn’t come to that.

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