Representatives of the Premier Baseball League and the MLB Players Association will hold their first negotiating session on Sunday after Commissioner Rob Manfred announced earlier this week that the first two series of the regular season are canceled. John Heyman of the MLB Network says none of the players will be present at the meeting. Only the main negotiators of each side.
The MLB and MLBPA last met Tuesday in Florida. The league did what it called its “best and last offer” before canceling the game, and now the ball is on the union’s field. Evan Drelich of Athletic says the MLBPA will present a written proposal that includes concepts that the parties have discussed orally, and probably also some new changes.
When the parties parted ways last week, significant gaps remained in several major economic issues, most notably the balance sheet tax (i.e., the luxury tax). Here is a summary of each party’s latest economic proposal:
Minimum wage: $ 700,000 with an increase of $ 10,000 per year
Competitive balance tax: $ 220 million in 2022, rising to $ 230 million in 2026
Pre-arbitration bonus pool: $ 30 million without increase
Minimum wage: $ 725,000 with an increase of $ 20,000 per year
Competitive balance tax: $ 238 million in 2022, growing to $ 263 million in 2026
Pre-arbitration bonus pool: $ 85 million with an increase of $ 5 million per year
The gap in the minimum wage seems insurmountable. A brand new pre-arbitration bonus pool will require some work. However, the same is true of the competitive balance tax, which is a priority point for both parties. Four owners – Bob Castellini (Red), Chris Ilyich (Tigers), Ken Kendrick (Diamondback), Arte Moreno (Angels) –.
“It’s important to look at the CBC increase model over the last few agreements,” Manfred said Tuesday. However, these models are what the union is concerned with because the threshold has not increased at the same rate as league revenue.
The MLB and MLBPA must come to an agreement within a few days to avoid canceling regular season games. In all likelihood, MLB will oppose the proposal that the MLBPA will make on Sunday before announcing any further repeals. Both sides hope to reduce the “media circus” that took place last week in Florida.
For 94 days, the owner-initiated lockout is the second longest-running shutdown in baseball history since the players ’strike in 1994-95 (232 days). Here is the full lockout schedule.
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