Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have reportedly made progress toward an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement that would end the owner-imposed shutdown after a marathon negotiation session on Monday that lasted into the early morning hours. The MLB originally set a Monday (February 28) deadline to reach an agreement before canceling regular season matches and postponing the 2022 opening day. However, the league’s self-imposed deadline has been pushed back to 5 PM ET Tuesday, According to Jeff Bassan of ESPNThe two sides will continue to talk throughout the day.
The MLB and MLBPA both spent more than 16 hours at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida, on Monday before calling it night around 2:30 a.m. ET. As much progress has been made during the Monday/Tuesday early morning marathon sessions, Ken Rosenthal from The Athletic Reports indicate that there has been “clear progress”, but that “significant gaps remain in key areas”.
The MLB began negotiations on Monday by informing the MLBPA that it was willing to miss matches for a month and took on a more threatening tone, According to Evan Drelish of The Athletic. Several reports said, several hours later, that the two sides ended up agreeing to coordinate an expanded 12-team supplement. However, the issue of the threshold for the competitive balance tax (also known as the luxury tax) – and penalties for exceeding said threshold – has been under discussion.
Where the MLB and MLBPA are still separate
- Competitive Balance TaxThe “luxury tax” in baseball was a sticking point in the conversations. Owners like to keep the CBT threshold low and penalties high, so it serves as an effective salary cap. The MLBPA is looking to increase the bottom line to the $230 million range, Per Jon Heyman of the MLB Network. Owners want this figure closer to $220 million.
- Minimum salary: The MLBPA was pushing to raise the league’s minimum salary – the lowest among the top four men’s sports in the US in 2021 at $575,500 – to over $700,000 for 2022. MLB’s latest bid went to $675,000, For every drill.
- Total rewards for players before refereeing: Another way the federation wants to pay younger players is through a bonus pool for premium players who are not yet eligible to referee (meaning they have less than three years of service). The most recent MLB figure for the bounty collector was $25 million, for every heman.
It was also reported that more trivial matters such as the limitations of defensive transfer were part of the discussions. In all, there were 13 separate face-to-face meetings between the two sides at the spring training facility on Monday. The bottom line is that there is an iota of hope that the season will start as planned on March 31st, but there is still heavy lifting to be done on Tuesday when the parties meet again.
CBS Sports has provided a closing schedule here, but the short version is that the owners set the locks on when the previous CBA expired on December 1 – exactly three months ago. They were not obligated to do so, but it was described as a defensive maneuver. Then the league waited more than six weeks to make its first proposal. The two sides have since conducted a number of personal negotiations, with some major sticking points including a competitive credit tax; Proceeds sharing breakdown of players eligible for Super Two mode in judging; The minimum periodic salary.
CBS Sports is providing live updates to Tuesday’s negotiations. You can continue below.