The shutdown imposed by the owner of Major League Baseball is about to risk the regular season. Monday was the league’s self-imposed deadline when a new collective bargaining agreement must be reached before regular season games are called off. This will be the first time in 27 years that regular season competitions have been affected by a shutdown. (The 2020 season has been changed due to the pandemic.)
As the clock ticked past midnight in Jupiter, Florida (where the negotiations are taking place) the MLBPA and MLB continued to talk. Reports throughout Monday evening seemed to indicate that progress had been made toward an agreement, but nothing was imminent. There appears to be a glimmer of hope that the 2022 season, as planned, will begin on March 31, although the two sides still need to agree on several important clauses.
During Monday’s early meetings, the MLB informed the MLBPA that it was willing to miss matches for a month and took a more threatening tone, Evan Drelish reports from The Athletic. Earlier this month, commissioner Rob Manfred said missing matches would be a “disastrous outcome” for the sport, words that have remained hollow in the weeks since. The two sides began their meetings at 10 AM ET on Monday and continued into the early morning hours.
At about 8:35 PM ET, a representative was dispatched from the owner’s side to meet with the players. This is believed to be the sixth separate meeting between the two sides on Monday. Reporting by Ivan Drillic of The Athletic Indicates that there has been a move towards a deal. Owners offered players two options, according to the report:
1. Fourteen playoff teams, with a minimum salary of approximately $700,000 and approximately $40 million in bonus pool divided among the top pre-arbitrators.
2. Twelve playoffs, with a minimum salary of approximately $675,000 and approximately $20 million in pre-judging bonuses.
The two sides can continue negotiations on Tuesday and avoid postponing the opening day despite the league deadline, Adds Jeff Bassan from ESPN.
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. 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 offers live updates of Monday’s negotiations and Tuesday’s negotiations now. You can find those below.