Major League Baseball’s Player Association (MLBPA) handed over a new collective bargaining agreement proposal to the league Sunday. The plan included a $5 million reduction in the pre-arbitration bonus pool from the previous proposal but did not adjust the competitive balance tax pool, according to reports.
“The players’ association chose to come back to us with a proposal that was worse than Monday night and was not designed to move the process forward,” said league spokesperson Glen Caplin. Simply put, we are deadlocked. We will try to figure out how to respond but nothing in this proposal makes it easy.”
Needless to say, the union’s new offering did not please the league and will not end the widely-hated lockout that has jeopardized the 2022 MLB season— fans and players are not happy with the new delay.
The MLB Lockout Continues
League commissioner Rob Manfred made history last week after he canceled the first two series of the 2022 season, marking the first time that an owner-imposed lockout has altered the regular-season schedule.
Sunday’s meeting in New York took just over an hour and a half and ended with the players’ association suggesting that the two parties meet again on Monday Deputy commissioner Dan Halem and union chief negotiator Bruce Meyer met after Sunday’s conference to discuss how to proceed with negotiations.
Notably, the Minor Leagues are not being affected by the lockout and will proceed business as usual, starting with Spring training this Sunday— the MiLB schedule has not changed thus far and is not expected to be dealt any blows. This is because the CBA (collective bargaining agreement) is a contract between the major-leaguers and the MLB, thereby not affecting, in most circumstances, minor league players.
MLBPA and MLB on Different Pages
An official from the MLBPA said that they disagreed with the league’s assessment that the new proposal was a step backward, thus reflecting the distance between the two sides in comprehension. The union cited concessions on many issues, namely dropping Super 2 expansion and free agency changes, in their newest plan.
The player’s association also said that it thought of playoff expansion as a concession to the league, rather than a desire of the players.
The MLBPA also agreed to an accelerated timeline for rule changes in three areas: a pitch clock, the size of bases, and, much to the disappointment of players and fans, the shift. The previous timeline required one year’s notice but will now only need 45 days warning before taking effect.
The newest proposal’s reduction in the pre-arbitration pool dropped the total to $80 million, still a long way off the $30 million presented by the league. It also earmarked the CBT (competitive balance tax) between $238-263 million, which is higher than the league’s $220 million mark could increase to $230 million over five years.
These two disparities in finances remain the biggest arguing points between the two sides.
The lockout has already reached 96 days and does not look likely to change anytime soon. Spring training has been canceled, along with the usual opening schedule; more cancellations are imminent.