MLB conversations produce progress and anger as the deadline approaches

JUPITER, Fla. – Major League Baseball negotiations have taken several steps forward and overcome a possible breakdown on Saturday, leaving less than two days until the deadline for a deal to save the opening day on March 31 and a 162-match schedule.

While the factions clashed over some issues, they stayed away on the biggest economic issues: luxury thresholds and tax rates, the minimum wage, and the new pre-arbitration bonus bag.

The players were angry about the state of negotiations at the end of Saturday’s session and did not commit to prolonging the talks. After internal discussions, they agreed to meet on a seventh Sunday.

MLB says if there is no agreement by the end of Monday, it would start canceling regular season games because there will not be enough training time to play a full schedule. Players have not said if they agree to this as a deadline and could do so with a shorter spring training.


Once Monday passes, the length of the schedule would become another issue in the dispute, along with the possible loss of pay and service time.

The union has told MLB that if games are lost and wages are lost, clubs should not wait for players to agree to management’s proposals to extend the postseason and allow advertising in uniforms and helmets.

For all the grudges, there were advances that saw the sides lined up on some issues.

Teams have agreed for the first time to accredit a full year of major league service to players who finish first or second in the Rookie of the Year poll in each league by the American Baseball Writers Association, as long as they are among the top 100 candidates. and did not spend the entire season on the Major League squad. This would address the union’s claim that teams are delaying the debut of budding stars like Kris Bryant to delay their free agency.

The parties also agreed that the lottery proposed in the annual amateur draft would be for the first six selections. Although the union thought that on Friday it was about to reach an agreement on this issue, the teams angered the union by linking this to the players agreeing to extend the postseason from 10 to 14, instead of the 12 that the union prefers.


Players switched to MLB in salary arbitration, reducing from 75% to 35% for those who would be eligible for the group with at least two seasons of service but less than three. Management says it will not move 22%, the cut since 2013.

With Saturday’s transfer, the eligibility of only about 15-18 players a year is at stake.

Clubs have remained at a $ 214 million tax threshold, up from $ 210 million last season, and have increased their 2023 proposal by $ 1 million to $ 215 million. They left 2024 with $ 216 million with increases of $ 2 million in each of the last two seasons.

Teams have cut the tax rate for exceeding the 50% to 45% threshold, lowered the rate for exceeding by $ 20 million from 75% to 62%, and proposed to exceed by $ 40 million from 100% to 95%.

MLB characterized its fiscal proposal as intentionally lousy, in response to a union tax proposal that the teams considered equally lousy.

Players oppose the rates as increases from the current figures of 20% for the first threshold, 32% for the second and 62.5% for the third. Clubs say they in turn eliminate the highest rates for repeat offenders who exceed the initial threshold in consecutive years.


The union would raise the threshold to $ 245 million this year and increase it to $ 273 million by 2026. It would keep the rates of the expired agreement and eliminate non-financial sanctions.

Although the parties have agreed on a set of pre-arbitration bonuses for central revenue arbitration, the union wants $ 115 million to be distributed among 150 players and management wants 20 million to be distributed among 30.

The union withdrew its proposal to cut revenue sharing by $ 30 million a year, but maintained its plan to give small market teams an incentive to increase locally generated revenue. The union would have the money from the designated incentive based on central revenue, which it estimates would not cost any club more than $ 1 million a year in revenue sharing.

The union also maintained its proposal to limit elective assignments to five per year. The teams had linked this to a provision regulating the number of minor league contracts but later withdrew the proposal.


The teams inserted a new obstacle to an agreement, proposing that changes to the rules on the field could be made 45 days in advance by a committee of six management officials, two union representatives and an arbitrator. Currently, management can only change the rules with union consent or unilaterally one year in advance.

The MLB proposal would probably pave the way for a launch clock.

The owners are still proposing an international draft, which the union opposes.

The six days of negotiations on the central economy this week coincided with the total from the start of the close to 19 February.

Mets pitcher Max Scherzer and shortstop Francisco Lindor, Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole and free agent reliever Andrew Miller were among the players in the talks. The ninth baseball strike, the first since 1995, came at 87.

The gangs arrived at noon, an hour earlier than all previous sessions this year, and then were caucused for almost 2 and a half hours. The union held a Zoom session for its player representatives, about 30, which was its deliberative method.



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MLB conversations produce progress and anger as the deadline approaches

Source link MLB conversations produce progress and anger as the deadline approaches

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