New meeting, another dead end.
After MLB and the MLB Players Association met for just over an hour and a half at MLBPA headquarters in Midtown on Sunday – with the union making its first proposal since talks broke down in Jupiter, Florida on Tuesday — MLB responded by saying the two sides were “at an impasse.”
And with the negative tone coming from both sides over the past week, it’s clear that more regular season games could soon be in jeopardy.
With MLB’s lockdown stretching into a third month and the first two regular-season series already canceled, key negotiators from both sides — MLB Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem and senior counsel for MLBPA’s Bruce Meyer — also met briefly one-on-one after the formal meeting.
It’s up to MLB to schedule the next meeting.
After Sunday’s meeting, MLB spokesman Glen Caplin responded to the MLBPA’s proposal, saying, “We were hoping to see some movement in our direction to give us more flexibility and get a deal done quickly. The Players Association chose to come back to us with a proposal that was worse than Monday night and that was not designed to move the process forward. On some issues, they even backtracked. In short, we are at an impasse. We will try to figure out how to react, but nothing in this proposal makes things easier. »
MLB sources say the union previously offered more movement on the pre-arbitration pool in Monday’s negotiations than the $5 million they offered to drop on Sunday.
Union sources have noted the concessions players have made since pre-lockdown negotiations opened regarding Super 2 arbitration, age-based free agency, revenue-sharing cuts, non-monetary CBT penalties , patch wearing and expanded playoffs, plus some rule changes.
While there were additional moves on Sunday, there remains a significant gap in some of the most important areas, including the Competitive Balance Tax and the Pre-Arbitration Bonus Pool. And the union again rejected MLB’s proposal for an international draft.
Where there has been some movement – albeit quite small – the parties are discussing forming a joint committee that would allow the league to make on-field changes within 45 days of the proposal if it is accepted by a joint committee, but only for three potential rules have changed: launch clock, larger bases and defensive changes, but not before the 2023 season. And the players refused to put in a change sought by the league for the robot referees in the package. Under the previous collective agreement, there was a one-year waiting period.
Financially, the MLBPA increased its request from $85 million to $80 million in the pre-arbitration pool, leaving the parties separated by $50 million.
The players’ association also agreed to introduce non-tax penalties into the CBT thresholds, but there was no movement on the thresholds.
The players are asking for an increase to $238 million for the first season, with increases to $244 million, $250 million, $256 million, and $263 million in subsequent years of the deal.
MLB is at $220 million for the next three seasons, with an increase to $224 million in 2025 and $230 million in 2026.
The union continued to reject an international draft and remained at $725,000 for minimum wage and an expanded 12-team postseason — and a 14-team postseason is still not on the table.