October 4, 2022

Lockout Update: 3/7/2022

Photo via Sports Illustrated

Unfortunately, no meetings or negotiations took place Saturday. But, two meetings with two different plots took place yesterday.

The MLB and MLBPA met at noon yesterday morning in Manhattan, New York. The meeting broke after an hour and forty minutes and a few proposals and coffee orders later. Following that meeting, the lead negotiators from both sides met by themselves to discuss the CBA in a less formal environment. Details about the one-on-one meeting are minimal, and it doesn’t appear that much progress was made in the group session either.

As proposals and ideas were passed back and forth, both parties were underwhelmed. “We were hoping to see some movement in our direction to give us additional flexibility and get a deal done quickly. The Player’s Association chose to come back to us with a proposal that was worse than Monday night[‘s] and was not designed to move the process forward. On some issues, they even went backwards… We will try to figure out how to respond, but nothing in this proposal makes it easy,” said a spokesperson with the MLB. “… we are deadlocked.”

So what is this deal so-called “worse” than the deal the union presented them Monday night.

  • Starting in 2023, MLB could apply a pitch clock, implement larger bases, and/or restrict the shift any time as long as a forty-five-day notice is given.
  • The pre-arbitration pool starts at $80 million, which is down five million dollars from the previous best offer.
  • Luxury tax threshold of $238 million to $263 million over the five years.
  • Six picks for the amateur draft lottery.
  • 12 total teams make the playoffs.

It’s hard to imagine the MLB not laughing at this. The MLB brought up the conversation of robotic umpires, also known as “robo umps.” They wanted the robotic umpires as part of the forty-five-day deal, but the MLBPA failed to agree to this, and they left it out of their final offer for the day. The pre-arbitration pool and luxury tax are still way off from what the MLB is looking for. Especially on the luxury tax, neither side seems to be willing to budge.

The playoff pool still seems to be up in the air. In Jupiter, they agreed to the 12 team pool. But, sources say that the Player’s Association is willing to compromise up to fourteen if they both agree on a realistic format to hold all 14 teams. But, the playoff pool negotiation seems to be on the back burner.

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the MLB is also proposing to get sponsored patches put on the players’ jerseys. If the players agree to this, the MLB should consider it a major win since it would bring in lots of profit.

Many people have wondered what is taking so long for both sides to reach an agreement. Now that we have had about two weeks of serious negotiations, the situation is starting to make more sense. In simple terms, one side will give compromise for one thing, but they want the other side to go all their way on another thing. This has spiraled to the point where they continue to do this and are ending up back where they started–nowhere. So yes, in order for a deal to get done, they are going to need to make a proposal with more than one compromise involved. And at the rate we’re going, it could be a while.

Another meeting has been scheduled for tomorrow to continue negotiations. Stay updated by following Philly Sports Reports, and all of our writers on Twitter and Instagram.

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