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MLB and the MLB Players association met for several hours and moved... several inches

It appears there’s not going to be a quick solution to the current negotiations.

Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

MLB owners and the MLB Players Association met in Jupiter, Florida, at the St. Louis Cardinals spring training complex, Monday afternoon to try to get that “jumpstart” in negotiations promised by Commissioner Rob Manfred nearly three months ago.

Jupiter. Well, that led to jokes like this:

Ha, ha. Gotta laugh, right?

Seriously, though, this appears to be the first time that a real negotiating session took place. The parties met for a bit more than an hour, then split up to meet with their own caucuses, players and owners separately. Here’s why that’s good:

That’s a good short primer on understanding how these sorts of negotiations work, and the fact that they met together after the caucusing is also a good sign.

This, though, might not be:

That’s moving like three inches in a day. One had hoped that there would be more movement toward a center, toward compromise. Also, this covers only a couple of issues that separate the two sides, and also:

That’s really where this entire thing is going to hinge, in my view — on the competitive balance tax, better known as the “luxury tax.” If there’s no revision in the proposed CBT levels or penalties on either side, they are about as far apart as Jupiter (the planet) is from Earth. Nothing’s going to get done, really, if there isn’t a deal on the CBT. The two sides are under a self-imposed time constraint of next Monday, February 28, as it’s been stated that if there’s no deal by that deadline, regular season games could be lost.

At the moment there’s not much more to report and there probably will be later, but I wanted to post an article with at least this much info, and to let you know that as always, we await developments.