Players’ Association disappointed with CBA’s latest proposal
MLB and the Players Association (MLBPA) met Thursday to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) in an effort to end the ongoing lockdown that has now lasted six weeks.
The two sides are far apart on key issues, including issues of economic and competitive integrity. Previously, they only met twice since the lockdown began for minor meetings which did not address any of the issues.
Thursday was the first substantive meeting since the lockdown began Dec. 1 at 9:59 p.m. PT and the two sides discussed economic issues, including MLB submitting a proposal to the MLBPA.
However, it doesn’t look like much progress has been made as players were ultimately disappointed with MLB’s latest offer, according to Evan Drellich of The Athletic
The good news on Thursday afternoon was that Major League Baseball and the Players Association talked about grassroots economics for the first time in 43 days, and the first time since owners locked players out. December 2. The bad news was that players were discouraged by the proposal made by MLB, a proposal that avoided some core areas where players hoped to make gains, and in other areas included changes that players deemed insignificant.
One of the key issues for players that will need to be addressed is the luxury tax threshold, which currently sits at $210 million.
In MLB’s latest proposal, they reportedly offered to increase the number slightly as players sought a significant increase. As always, deal economics are key to any CBA, as players seek a greater share of the revenue they earn.
Although MLB revenue has increased every season other than the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, average team payrolls have fallen nearly 5% from their previous peak in 2017.
The union also hopes to address the problem of teams actively seeking better draft positions, which hurts product on the field and lowers player value.
MLB claimed the Players Association proposals “threaten most teams’ ability to compete,” but they did not release their financial information to prove that to be true.
The ABC must be finalized in early March to avoid season delays
Without much progress after the latest proposals, it remains to be seen when the two parties will meet again.
With spring training scheduled for next month, both sides will need to ramp up their negotiations and an agreement would need to be reached by early March at the latest to avoid missing regular season games.
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