MLB owners and the Major League Baseball Players Association met Tuesday for about 90 minutes to see if they could make any progress in their negotiations to end ownership’s lockout.
Evan Drellich of The Athletic, whose coverage of the lockout and related issues is first-rate, sums up what happened:
Today’s 90-minute meeting between MLB, MLBPA was heated. Some owners and players participated. The MLBPA made moves in two areas: service-time manipulation, and pre-arb bonus pool (dropped request from $105 million to $100 million). TBD when next core economics meeting will be.— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) February 1, 2022
On other proposal the MLBPA modified, service-time manipulation, union dropped the number of players who would be awarded a full year of service time. Previous proposal (below) was to give service to players in top 30 or top 10 by WAR depending on position. Now: top 20, or top 7 pic.twitter.com/cSbTgHxj48— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) February 1, 2022
On service-time manipulation proposal as well: The MLBPA also newly incorporated (and modified) an element of MLB’s service-time manipulation: potentially rewarding a draft pick to a team— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) February 1, 2022
So, what we have here is tiny, incremental change in the players’ response to ownership’s response to some MLBPA proposals. This sort of thing isn’t going to get a deal done, and we are now just two weeks away from pitcher and catcher report dates. As I noted in this article on this topic earlier this morning, we are getting dangerously close to the time when something related to the 2022 season is going to be delayed and/or cancelled, and that’s likely going to be something revolving around the early parts of Spring Training.
It’s been said by some that Spring Training is too long. Maybe, but remember this: Players don’t get paid during spring training. Owners, though, do make money on spring games, and they will feel some losses if early spring games are cancelled. Would that be enough to put pressure on them to settle? I’d say “doubtful” to that.
As noted in Drellich’s tweets, there isn’t a time set for another meeting on the core economic issues, and until those are settled, we still sit and wait. Or, in the case of Diamondbacks beat writer Zach Buchanan:
I know nothing about the lockout beyond what I've read, but I do know that I just extended my daughter's daddy-and-me swim lessons through the end of February— Zach Buchanan (@ZHBuchanan) February 1, 2022
Sounds like he doesn’t expect anything to be resolved soon. I don’t either. Hope I’m wrong. As always, we await developments.