MLB players make second offer in CBA talks
The Major League Baseball Players’ Association (MLBPA) made a second proposed new collective agreement (CBA) to club owners on Oct. 29, according to Evin Drellich and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. With the current deal set to expire on December 1 and looming threats of a possible player lockdown and a freeze on all free agent signatures, the two sides remain distant.
The players’ first proposalI was done in May, with few details revealed. The owners responded with a complete no response in August, and the second player offering is said to have similar content to the first. The ball is now moving into the owners’ court, even as Commissioner Rob Manfred mumbles that he hopes to have a deal by the end of the month.
Among the proposed changes by the players: – Increase the minimum wage of the major leagues
- Allow players to become eligible for arbitration after two years instead of three (or super two).
- Allow certain players to become free agents earlier in certain circumstances
- Increase in the upper threshold of the tax on competitive equilibrium.
- Mechanisms to prevent teams from “tanking” which include modifying the draft order and the revenue sharing formula
- Change the way uptime is calculated
The owners’ proposal, which was rejected by the players as a non-runner, included
- Lowering of the CBT threshold from $ 215 million in payroll to $ 180 million
- Increased penalties for teams that exceed the CBT threshold
- Changed free agency eligibility to 29-1 / 2 years instead of service time
- A “soft ground” which would penalize teams below $ 100 million in payroll
- A set of funds available to players eligible for arbitration
- Prohibited teams from writing among the top five draft picks for three consecutive years
- The owners’ greatest wish is to expand the playoffs to 14 teams, seven in each league. It seems likely that players will grant this wish, but only when they have secured enough concessions on other fundamental financial matters.
- The league has also offered to set up an international draft, long desired by owners for many years. In the latest round of talks, MLB offered to drop the payment of free agent compensation in exchange for a draft, but ultimately opted for strict bonus limits on international signings while the ‘d ‘qualifying offers’ remain in place only for very elitist free agents. every season.
Full details of the proposals on either side remain unclear, and there are no reports of the implementation of a Universal Designated Hitter or other game rule changes we know are under discussion. .
The two sides have met virtually or in person about twice a week and are expected to meet at the GM’s meeting in Carlsbad, Calif., Next week, according to Athletic. Dan Halem leads negotiations for the MLB while Bruce Meyer leads the players’ bargaining team.
While the above list may seem like both sides have pretty long wishlists during talks, the owners really have few desires, mostly an extended playoff that would bring them millions more in domestic TV revenue. . Of course, they will resist player efforts to capture a larger share of the growing revenue pie that players are looking for on multiple fronts.
There has been no player strike in any of the four major sports in the United States since 1994-95, when a mid-season strike resulted in the cancellation of the World Series. There have been work stoppages resulting in game cancellations in the NHL, NFL and NBA, but each stoppage resulted from a lockout. The players will not go on strike during the offseason as there are no games to play and no wages to be won, but the owners.
It would be fair to say that the owners have yet to make a serious proposal to avoid a work stoppage, just weeks away from their threat of a lockout. It could be forgiven for believing that owners aren’t particularly worried if a spending freeze is put in place in December, or even if part of the regular season is delayed.
It’s not hard to imagine a scenario where the two sides divide their differences, something like this:
- Players become eligible for arbitration after 2.5 seasons, with top players eligible after 2 years
- Tax threshold rises with dollar for dollar tax on the upper end, and also a hard floor on the lower end at $ 100 million – Inevitable minimum wage increase agreed
- Playoffs expanded to 12 teams, rising to 14 teams once MLB expands to 32 teams (adding 52 more MLB jobs) – An international draft is implemented, but teams are required to pay bonuses slot to drafted players, rather than controlling their rights and then not paying them
- The free agent compensation payment is eliminated, but teams still receive additional draft picks when they lose a top player to free agency, but only if they do not pay a CB tax.
- The designated hitter becomes universal, the ghost runners are gone and are doing whatever they are going to do with the shifts.
Meanwhile, under the radar, players’ grievance against MLB for failing to do their best to play more than 60 games in the Covid-shortened 2020 season began hearings in September, without any details. has not been disclosed. The grievance seeks an amount of $ 500 million in damages, an amount that could eventually disappear if a new collective agreement were reached by the parties.