MLB owners and players met again Thursday afternoon in Jupiter. (The one in Florida, silly, not the planet, although an agreement seems about as far away as Jupiter the planet is from Earth.)
Per tweets from various national baseball writers, the two sides caucused amongst themselves for about an hour, then met together for only about 30 minutes, then spent about another two hours caucusing.
Here’s what we know about what happened this afternoon.
MLBPA made proposals on service time manipulation and amateur draft. On STM: new proposal would grant service time to fewer players than before, narrows scope of it. On draft: still 7-pick lottery, but changing other elements that would penalize teams for consecutive losing years— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) February 24, 2022
That sounds like the basic creeping toward agreement that we’ve had over the last few days, in other words, not much movement at all. Jesse Rogers agrees:
The union moved a little towards the league on draft order and service time manipulation but the day ended early because the sides had nothing more to discuss, according to sources.— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) February 24, 2022
Here’s a bit more detail on those MLBPA proposals:
Union modified two aspects of its proposals today. Stayed at 7 for the draft lottery but modified their proposal about draft order to reduce penalties on small market teams who lose in back-to-back years (had been a league concern that system would punish teams that were— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) February 24, 2022
Just bad and not tanking). Second part was narrowing pool of players rewarded with an extra year of service time under their proposal to combat manipulation. Last proposal would have given 29 players over last five years an extra year. This one would have given it to 20 players.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) February 24, 2022
And so, here we are, with now just four days to go before MLB’s self-imposed February 28 deadline:
MLB and MLBPA plan to meet again tomorrow, a 5th straight day. MLB did not react well to the players’ proposals today. Once again, like the three preceding days, today brought no substantive progress.— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) February 24, 2022
That’s how I see this. “No substantive progress.” Not even a mention of the competitive balance tax today — obviously there were no proposals on that front, and there’s not going to be a deal unless there’s some form of CBT in the final agreement.
As always, we await developments.
And now, some thoughts to conclude this day.
A few years ago, I wanted to educate myself further on the 1981 strike. I did live through it, but given that happened 40 years ago, I wanted to refresh myself on the facts and see if the passage of time had changed my perspective. It did after I read “Split Season 1981” by Jeff Katz, and I would recommend that book to any of you. Here’s an interview done with Katz in 2015, complete with a photo of an empty Wrigley Field from the day the strike began. Yes, it’s relevant to today.
This tweet is from Katz:
I was talking with someone recently about Split Season. He thought, since it was a history, that it would be evenhanded. I told him that one couldn't do the research I did and not come away pro-@MLBPA— Split Season 1981 (@SplitSeason1981) February 24, 2022
And here’s a response to Katz’s tweet:
This is where I am. My coverage doesn’t lean players because it fits an overarching pro-labor viewpoint, it leans that way because of the facts, both historically and today.— Joe Sheehan (@joe_sheehan) February 24, 2022
(If I never mentioned it…loved the book, which I just read last year.)
If the positions taken by me at this website seem pro-player... those are basically the reasons. I do try to present the facts as they are known as they are made public. You are free to draw your own conclusions.
Here is a Twitter thread by Jeffrey Flanagan, a retired Kansas City Royals beat writer who covered several previous baseball labor stoppages. It is well worth your time.
I will leave you today with this artwork by New York Times writer James Wagner, who’s clearly looking for something to do. If there’s no baseball this year... maybe art is in his future!