I wish I had better news for you on this late Saturday afternoon, but here’s the summary of what happened in Jupiter, Florida, between MLB owners and the MLB Players Association.
The two sides caucused separately for quite some time, then met to present a new offer from the MLBPA to owners. Here are some of the details:
The union offered to move from 75 percent to 35 percent on Super 2’s. They adjusted their rev sharing asks as well. Both are non-starters for the league. Union also reduced CBT request by 2 mil in years 2-4 of deal. League went up 1 mil in year 2.— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) February 26, 2022
As you can see, the players moved quite a bit toward ownership’s position. The owners, though, moved just a tiny bit. Here’s more:
Source: Today didn’t go well. MLB reacted badly to player proposal, players in turn were outraged. Hostile 2nd meeting. Players moved CBT by same amount MLB did last time: $2m in 3 diff years. MLB proposed cutting $1m off CBT in one year, dropped 1st tier of tax from 50 to 45.— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) February 26, 2022
On CBT: players dropped 2m off years 2,3,4 of CBA. Owners added 1m to year 1: so it would start at 215m instead of 214m. On owners proposal for tax rates:— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) February 26, 2022
1st tier: 45 (previous MLB offer was 50, old CBA 20)
2nd tier: 67 (previous offer 75)
3rd tier: 100 (same as prev offer)
MLB last night was attempting to tie the draft proposal, the topic that had momentum for a time yesterday, to a 14-team expanded postseason, and today made clear that was its position. Players have proposed 12 teams in expanded playoffs.— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) February 26, 2022
Owners have made it clear that they want a 14-team playoff, but at least for 2022, players don’t appear to want to go past 12. In my view, owners should probably accept 12 for 2022; perhaps they can continue to negotiate a larger playoff in future years. But the bottom line conclusion to today’s sessions is:
Players are currently considering walking away from the table, per a person familiar with their plans. Made what they felt was a substantive offer and owners rejected it. Players furious.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) February 26, 2022
The sides even went backwards on the lottery draft after making progress yesterday. League’s offer contingent on 14 team postseason. Players sticking with 12.— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) February 26, 2022
MLB did propose allowing the Rookie of the Year or runner up to receive a full year of service time no matter when they come up to the majors. So there’s that.— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) February 26, 2022
Given what I have posted above, I have to agree with that conclusion. Players did make what appear to me to be clear substantive moves toward ownership’s position and owners made a couple of baby steps. You know, compromise in situations like this usually means that neither side gets everything they want, but each side gets something. Owners appear to not want to give that “something” to players.
I’ll have a bit more to say at the end of this article, but for now I think we need some levity, along with a description of how the afternoon went before the news posted above.
The players form what looks like a prayer circle before negotiations began today:
Day 6 prep for the players. Meeting starts at noon EST pic.twitter.com/ktbWDKTSXK— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) February 26, 2022
Gerrit Cole and Max Scherzer are leading the players into the stadium today. One of those two people pitched in Game 7 of the 2019 World Series, if memory serves.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) February 26, 2022
Some movement, after a couple of hours:
The MLBPA made a comprehensive offer during the short meeting with MLB today. The sides are now caucusing.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 26, 2022
The players just made a package counteroffer to the owners, an offer on multiple issues, in the meeting that lasted about 15 minutes. Sides are caucusing now.— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) February 26, 2022
This is non CBA related, or maybe it is:
Sources: Multiple MLB clubs have notified rival clubs that their complexes are closed to scouts until MLB camp starts or Rule 5 draft occurs/is canceled. Sources expect more teams to follow suit. Execs tell me the motivation is to keep Rule 5 eligible players from being scouted.— Kiley McDaniel (@kileymcd) February 26, 2022
To clarify, only non-40 man roster players can be in camp (the 40 man members are locked out) and an older subset of those players are the Rule 5 eligibles.— Kiley McDaniel (@kileymcd) February 26, 2022
Teams don’t want other teams knowing about players that improved over the winter until the Rule 5 draft has passed.
Meanwhile, at Sloan Park:
More baseball writer photo art:
Day 6 update: 99 minutes in, each side’s still in caucus.— Michael Silverman (@MikeSilvermanBB) February 26, 2022
The expectation remains that MLB owners & players will engage in face-to-face talks today.
After all, they’re down here.
Picture of a lizard. pic.twitter.com/bWDAFiuTcg
Also spotted earlier today, Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner and Padres owner Ron Fowler in what qualifies as an action shot down here.— Michael Silverman (@MikeSilvermanBB) February 26, 2022
It’s either this or more lizards. pic.twitter.com/E5CM1fQvZF
I call this one: Lights & Sky at a Stadium. pic.twitter.com/OQlhUOZpgT— James Wagner (@ByJamesWagner) February 26, 2022
There are two days remaining before the owners’ self-imposed deadline to start cancelling regular season games after Monday’s session. If you believe this, though, there might not be sessions at all Sunday or Monday:
No meeting was immediately scheduled for tomorrow between MLB and MLBPA. Players plan to discuss. But speculatively: it would be difficult for either side to end these talks prior to Monday, which is the day of MLB’s imposed deadline for the regular season to start on time.— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) February 26, 2022
Right now it would appear that the two sides might need an evening to cool off before perhaps getting in contact Sunday morning to try to schedule a session for tomorrow. If things go the way they seem to be going as of the end of Saturday’s negotiations, I suspect we are in for a long, long “winter” of no Major League Baseball.
Repeat after me: “As always, we await developments.” I’ll have a post here at 9 a.m. CT tomorrow with any updates, and hopefully, I’ll have better news for you.
Will MLB players and owners have a deal by Monday and avoid having regular season games cancelled?
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