The second day of negotiations between MLB players and owners took place Tuesday in New York City and there were actual concrete proposals made. Here’s a summary:
MLB proposed today to raise the minimum salary for players with 0 to 1 year of service time to $615,000. Previously had proposed $600,000. No change to 1-2 years (650k) or 2-3 (700). MLB also withdrew its proposals to eliminate salary arbitration for any group— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) January 25, 2022
The numbers proposed by MLB owners are far from what players have stated they want:
Labor talks are over. Here's what happened.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 25, 2022
- MLB agreed to accept parameters of a pre-arbitration bonus pool for top 30 WAR. MLBPA seeking $105M. League offered $10M.
- MLB offered minimum raise to $615K. MLBPA wants $775K.
- MLB withdrew offer to change arbitration structure
Honestly, those numbers are laughably far apart. This isn’t totally unusual for a labor negotiation. What’s important is how quickly the parties can narrow the gap. At this time that’s unknown. As Jeff Passan notes:
There is no deal today. There never was going to be a deal today.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 25, 2022
The takeaway: A pre-arb bonus pool gets the best young players paid more. Players wanted it, and it's a good thing for them. Players are laughing at the $10M offer. It's far too low. Negotiations will change that.
Depending on how that bonus pool is divided and how it’s determined which players are part of it (potentially by WAR?), this will not affect a large number of players. But it would get them paid more during their younger, more productive years, and that’s one thing players have been quite adamant about, because free agency is not going to change (at least in terms of how many years of service are required to get there).
Clearly, the difference between MLB’s $10 million offer and the MLBPA’s desire for $105 million in this pool is indeed laughable. Whether this gap can be bridged will go a long way toward telling us whether a deal can be reached without losing any games this year.
There are reports that further discussions on “non-core economic issues” will happen later this week. Good. Clock’s ticking.