Major League Baseball owners’ representatives and the same from the MLB Players Association met Monday at the MLBPA offices in New York City.
For the first time, we have a tiny bit of progress to report, per Evan Drellich at The Athletic:
The Major League Baseball Players Association dropped its request to introduce an age-based free agency system into the sport on Monday, withdrawing a proposal in one of the three major areas MLB had shown no interest in changing, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Athletic.
The union also revised its proposal to alter revenue sharing between the teams, another of the three areas MLB has resisted changes toward — and traditionally, a hot-button topic for the owners themselves. Between revenue sharing and free agency, the union feels it made two significant concessions.
Well, that’s something, at least, and as noted by Drellich, these are things that ownership likely wasn’t going to budge on anyway. The players’ position on another key negotiating point hasn’t changed, though:
With the time-to-free-agency question gone, the two major hurdles remaining are whether MLB could become amenable to any changes to revenue sharing; and what will happen to the other particularly contentious bucket, the time it takes a player to reach arbitration. The players’ decision to drop their request to get players to free agency sooner wasn’t particularly surprising, considering what the union has been talking about for years, publicly, is the plight of younger players.
The union’s proposal to get players to arbitration after two years from November went unchanged on Monday. At the time, the league said it had no interest in discussing it.
So... although there was some progress, it doesn’t seem as if a lot of progress was made between the two sides on more important core issues regarding free agency and service time.
This, though, is positive news:
Another concession the Union made today: modifying previous proposal to cut revenue sharing by 100M. New proposal cuts by far less, estimated 30M. Had been sticking point with MLB, who thought idea of cutting revenue sharing would be problematic for smaller market teams. https://t.co/sUuZTiG8Ig— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) January 24, 2022
So, the MLBPA did move somewhat in the direction of MLB regarding revenue sharing. And, the parties will meet again Tuesday, which would be the first time that’s happened since the lockout began.
Progress? Maybe, but very very very slow progress. We’re not too far from the time when Spring Training is going to have to be pushed back if they don’t have an agreement.
Repeat after me: “As always, we await developments.”