MLB owners commenced a lockout of the players following the expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement on Dec. 1. Here is the latest on where things stand with the work stoppage…
March 5, 3:21 p.m.
MLB and the MLBPA will have their first formal discussion on Sunday in New York.
It will be their first meeting since last Tuesday, where talks broke down after reports said the two sides were close to a deal.
The sides met for over 16-straight hours from Monday morning into the wee hours of Tuesday negotiating and making progress, but talks went downhill throughout Tuesday afternoon.
The union will offer written responses to all of the league’s recent proposals, says Ken Rosenthal.
MLB negotiators Dan Halem and Morgan Sword and MLBPA negotiators Bruce Meyer and Ian Penny met for an informal discussion on Thursday.
March 4, 8:32 p.m.
While it was reported earlier on Friday that the MLBPA has approached the league with a new offer revolving around a 14-team postseason, MLB unfortunately was forced to cancel more spring training games.
As another week went by without a new CBA, the league announced on Friday that spring training games can now begin no earlier than March 18.
The first two series of the regular season have already been canceled, as MLB has made it clear that spring training must last for at least four weeks before the regular season can begin.
March 4, 4:03 p.m.
After unanimously rejecting MLB’s final offer on March 1, the Players Association has approached MLB with an offer of its own — to re-open talks on the 14-team postseason field, according to Buster Olney.
The MLBPA hopes that it can exchange this for more CBT flexibility, among other issues.
Prior to the 5 p.m. deadline on March 1, MLBPA and MLB had agreed to a new 12-team format, up from the 10-team format currently in place.
Sources on both sides of the CBA talks are hopeful that this can be the breakthrough needed to come to an agreement and start the season once again, according to the report.
March 4, 11:06 a.m.
The MLBPA is working on a response to the offer that was made by MLB on March 1 in advance of the league’s self-imposed deadline, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
According to The Athletic, no meetings are currently scheduled between the two sides, but are expected to happen “soon.”
The last offer from the league — which it deemed its last and best offer before the deadline — was not countered by the union, with the players rejecting it in unanimous fashion.
The league’s proposal on March 1 included movement on the minimum salary (to $700,000, while the players were at $725,000), and modest movement when it came to the pre-arbitration pool. But there was no movement made on the luxury tax threshold, which remained at $220 million.
SNY’s Andy Martino recently reported that four owners were opposed to going even as high as $220 million for the luxury tax threshold, perhaps setting up a difficult fight ahead as players seek for the threshold to be $238 million starting this season.
Two negotiators from each side met informally in New York City on March 3, which was the first contact between the sides since talks broke down. But that meeting was informal, and no official proposals were exchanged.
Elsewhere on the lockout front, with the first two series of the regular season canceled and those lost games impacting MLB workers beyond just the players, the union on Friday announced that it was launching a $1 million fund to help support workers who are affected.
The league will also be setting up a fund for workers who are impacted by the delay, per Jesse Rogers of ESPN.
March 3, 2:21 p.m.
MLB negotiators Dan Halem and Morgan Sword and MLBPA negotiators Bruce Meyer and Ian Penny met for an informal discussion on Thursday, according to multiple reports.
During the discussion, which lasted roughly 90 minutes, the major unsettled issues were discussed, as was the timing of future talks.
Thursday’s meeting marked the first discussions since talks broke up on Tuesday afternoon after the union rejected what was the league’s final offer before its self-imposed 5 p.m. deadline to cancel regular season games.
Shortly after the deadline passed, commissioner Rob Manfred canceled the first two series of the season, adding that those games would not be rescheduled.
Speaking on Tuesday, Meyer said that the union would attempt to have any lost games rescheduled, and that he would also seek to get players paid for a full 162 games.
As things currently stand, the earliest the regular season will start is April 7. But if the lockout goes much longer, additional games will be in danger of being canceled.
March 1, 5:20 p.m.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred announced Tuesday that the first two series of the regular season are canceled, and with the MLBPA traveling back to New York, “no agreement is possible until at least Thursday.”
This comes after both sides rushed to try to initially meet a self-imposed Feb. 28 deadline to prevent games from being canceled. In the early hours of Tuesday morning, they decided to extend the deadline to 5 p.m. However, not enough progress was made.
March 1, 4:26 p.m.
Shortly after the league made its last offer in advance of today’s 5 p.m. deadline, the union rejected it.
With the offer being rejected about a half hour before the league’s self-imposed deadline to get a deal done before canceling regular season games, the expectation is that the league will cancel Opening Day, which had been scheduled for Mar. 31.
As far as when negotiations might resume, that is unknown. Those from both sides were planning to head home before determining next steps.
Regarding what was in the league’s final offer…
According to an MLBPA official, the league upped the minimum salary for players to $700,000 (from $675,000), with that minimum salary rising to $740,000 over the course of the CBA.
Also included in the offer was a slight increase of the pre-arbitration bonus pool, from $25 million to $30 million (the players have been seeking $85 million).
The offer also included a 12-team playoff field (the players have opposed a 14-team field), and a draft lottery with five slots.
On the luxury tax threshold, the league’s final offer did not make any changes from its prior proposal, which was nowhere near the players’ request.
March 1, 3:03 p.m.
With less than two hours to go until the league’s new self-imposed deadline of 5 p.m., SNY’s Andy Martino reports that some sources on the player and ownership side who very “very optimistic” early this morning are now worried about the prospects of a deal getting done.
Speaking shortly before 3 p.m., an MLB official said that the players have struck a different tone today, and that the league will be making its best offer before the deadline that it believes is “a fair deal for players and clubs.”
That official said that the league believed there was a path to a deal last night, and that they extended the negotiations in order to exhaust every option, adding that the MLBPA has made proposals today that are “inconsistent with the prior discussions.”
A union source pushed back on the above categorization, saying that the MLBPA has been consistent all along that the sides are far apart on substance.
Among the issues that still need to be hammered out: the size of the pre-arbitration bonus pool, the minimum salary for players, and the luxury tax levels and penalties. On all of those issues, the league got closer to the players’ demands on Monday and into Tuesday.
As of the latest MLBPA proposal, the union was asking for a $725,000 minimum player salary while the league was it $675,000, the union sought an $85 million pre-arbitration bonus pool with the league at $25 million, and the union was asking for dramatically higher luxury tax thresholds than the ones recently offered by MLB.
Meanwhile, according to Martino, Max Scherzer “has rattled some with a tough negotiating style” over the past few days.
March 1, 2:02 p.m.
The Players’ Association made a new proposal to the owners with three hours left to go before the 5 p.m. deadline.
The counter made by the union came after roughly 2 1/2 hours of phone calls with players to discuss it, per multiple reports.
According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, part of the new proposal included the union lowering its ask for the pre-arbitration bonus pool.
March 1, 1:37 p.m.
Following a few hours where the league and players caucused on their own to start the day, representatives from MLB walked over to the players’ side around 1:30 p.m.
The three MLB reps who went over were negotiator Dan Halem, Morgan Sword, and Pat Houlihan.
With the league’s new self-imposed 5 p.m. deadline to reach a deal nearing, the sides still have work to do.
According to SNY’s Andy Martino, the tone on Tuesday morning was “respectful and productive,” with both sides wanting to finish things up and get the season started.
Per Martino, the owners feel they have given a lot, while players feel there are still significant differences on key issues.
March 1, 11:44 a.m.
Discussions between MLB and the MLBPA resumed on Tuesday morning, with a league-imposed 5 p.m. deadline in place for a deal to be reached to avoid the cancelation of regular season games.
Commissioner Rob Manfred said last month that spring training would have to be roughly four weeks long and that players would be able to report to camps within days of a deal on a new CBA being reached. So in the event a deal happens on Tuesday, it would not be surprising to see players start arriving at spring training later this week.
March 1, 8:44 a.m.
There was significant progress made on Monday and into Tuesday morning as the two sides negotiated for over 17 hours.
Per SNY’s Andy Martino, there is optimism a deal will get done. However, there are still some big issues that need to be hashed out.
March 1, 2:29 a.m.
After over 16 hours of discussion and 13 separate meetings, MLB and MLBPA have called it a night with no new deal in place.
That’s not necessarily bad news. Monday’s (and early Tuesday morning’s) negotiations were, by far, the most productive the two sides have had since the lockout began, and it’s clear that both sides are committed to getting a deal done.
However, the league has set a new deadline to do so.
If a deal is not reached by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, MLB says games will be canceled. The two sides will reconvene at 10 a.m., but with this recent substantial progress, there is optimism for a regularly scheduled Opening Day, notes SNY MLB Insider Andy Martino.
A day that started with lots of pessimism turned into one that ended with some much higher hopes. While still apart, the two parties made strides in what seemed to be major hurdles in luxury tax, pre-arbitration bonus pool money, and minimum salary — and a compromise for a 12-team playoff pool seems likely.
MLB has offered a CBT of $220 million for the next three seasons, followed by $224 million in 2025, and $230 million in 2026, with tax rates staying the same as the previous CBA (20 percent, 32 percent, 62.5 percent). The MLBPA wants the tax to be at least $230 million this season. MLBPA is also seeking a minimum salary of $700,000, but has been offered $675,000.
March 1, 2:12 a.m.
Remember the “I’m not leaving” scene from The Wolf of Wall Street ? Well, that’s happening at Roger Dean Stadium.
The two sides have completed 12 sessions, and are currently in a 13th, as they approach 17 hours of negotiations.
March 1, 12:00 a.m.
The owners’ deadline to reach an agreement has passed, and Opening Day is still scheduled for Mar. 31.
The two sides have been “clearly progressing” in the 11 bargaining sessions between MLB and the MLBPA since Monday morning, sources told SNY MLB Insider Andy Martino.
The two big issues remain postseason expansion and CBT penalties. However, Martino said on SportsNite on early Tuesday morning that it’s moving in the direction of a 12-team postseason field, which was first reported by Bob Nightengale.
Martino also reported that there is optimism that luxury tax penalties can be negotiated to its old levels.
Feb. 28, 10:18 p.m.
In a surprising turn of events, there is optimism that the luxury tax penalties will revert back to status quo and old levels, reports SNY MLB Insider Andy Martino.
That’s good news. But the bad news is there is another holdup in negotiations: postseason expansion.
MLB wants to add another four teams to October baseball, while the players want to cap it at a dozen, notes Martino.
Ken Rosenthal reported on Sunday that the players feel that with a 14-team postseason field, with only two teams (the best record in each league) receiving a bye in the Wild Card round, there would not be enough incentive for the other two division winners.
The players also feel, Martino said on Monday’s SportsNite, that an expanded playoff would continue to have teams not spend money on free agents if they were more likely to make the postseason.
There have been 10 bargaining sessions today with no signs of stopping.
Feb. 28, 8:35 p.m.
While a deal is not necessarily close, the two sides seem to have made some progress.
SNY MLB Insider Andy Martino notes that both sides are “gearing to work deep into the night,” and depending on how much more progress is made throughout the night, the owners’ deadline could be extended.
The owners have moved more toward the players’ side in terms of minimum salary, CBT, and bonus pool money. MLB has offered the following options:
A) 14-team expanded postseason, a minimum salary of $700,000, and about $40 million into the pre-arbitration player pool, or…
B) 12-team expanded postseason, $675,000 minimum salary, and about $20 million into the pre-arbitration player pool
The players and MLB have met six times today, and an MLB spokesman said they are not done.
Feb. 28, 6:14 p.m.
Commissioner Rob Manfred offered his first comments on the negotiations since Feb. 10.
When asked if there has been any progress on what is supposedly the deadline for the season to start on time, he said one simple sentence:
“We’re working at it.”
Manfred made the comment while walking back to the owners’ side with his contingent after a brief meeting with the players.
Manfred joined the discussions earlier on Monday, which began at around 10 a.m., but negotiations have seemingly heated up in recent hours as he and other officials have met with both sides multiple times, the latest lasting about 17 minutes.
Feb. 28, 4:36 p.m.
The two sides are expected to resume talks later this afternoon after having two meetings earlier on Monday.
Commissioner Rob Manfred and negotiator Dan Halem were among those from the league’s contingent who walked over to the players’ side at 2:45 p.m. for a meeting that lasted roughly 45 minutes.
During talks earlier on Monday, the league indicated a willingness to miss a month of games, per multiple reports.
According to Evan Drellich of The Athletic, the first meeting between MLB and the MLBPA featured a “more threatening tone” from the league toward the union than Sunday’s talks.
Meanwhile, the MLBPA has secured a stadium and facility for players to be able to train at in Mesa, Ariz. during the lockout in the event it is needed, per multiple reports.
Representatives from the two sides began arriving around 9:30 a.m. on Monday, with the first negotiating session between them lasting about an hour.
Among those in attendance are MLBPA chief Tony Clark, and players including Max Scherzer and Andrew Miller.
Feb. 28, 12:21 p.m.
Discussions between MLB and the MLBPA are ongoing on Monday as the league’s self-imposed deadline day for the lockout to end in order for there to be a full 162-game regular season has arrived.
The negotiations on Sunday were categorized as productive after a Saturday negotiating session that left the players threatening to walk away from the table altogether.
According to SNY’s Andy Martino, there was “less personal animus” between the sides on Sunday than there was on Saturday, but there are still “significant differences on policy issues.”
Among the issues that still need to be agreed to with the deadline looming are the minimum salary for players, the bonus pool for players who aren’t yet eligible for arbitration, and the level and penalties for the luxury tax.
The league has made it clear that regular season games will be canceled if a deal is not reached by the end of today, and the players have made it clear they’re willing to lose regular season games in order to get a deal they believe is fair.
Feb 27, 7:19 p.m.
A league source told ESPN that it was a “productive day” at the meeting table, but the sides are still far apart on a potential agreement.
Tony Clark said there was “a lot” of discussion on Sunday, but Bob Nightengale noted that there were no formal proposals made.
Feb. 27, 11:57 a.m.
Earlier today, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman had an optimistic report about the lockout situation, saying that both sides were “within striking distance” and a deal could be done by the Monday deadline.
However, Yankees reliever Zack Britton said “this is not accurate” underneath the Heyman tweet. So there’s that.
The Feb. 28 deadline is still very much in place, and other reports have contradicted Heyman’s saying both sides are still very much at a distance.
Feb. 26, 8:35 p.m.
If there had been any momentum built over the last 24 hours or so, it now appears completely destroyed.
According to multiple reports, the league did not respond well to the union’s “comprehensive” counteroffer on Saturday, with a union official calling Saturday’s meeting “very hostile,” saying that it “left players seething,” per USA today’s Bob Nightengale.
Both sides countered with offers involving the CBT, among other issues, but according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, multiple officials believe a deal will not get done by the league’s Monday deadline to cancel games.
The two sides will meet again, per multiple reports, on Sunday at 1:00 p.m., marking the seventh straight day of negotiations.
According to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, the union considered not meeting on Sunday after talks went so poorly on Saturday.
Feb. 26, 4:25 p.m.
Saturday’s negotiations began with each side talking among themselves for roughly two and a half hours, and once the league and players finally got in the same room, it lasted just 10-15 minutes but that was long enough for the players association to offer a “comprehensive” proposal, addressing a number of issues, according to multiple reports.
Once that new counterproposal was offered to the league, the two sides once again separated as the owners reviewed the latest proposal.
Per multiple reports, the players’ proposal included moves on the CBT, arbitration eligibility, and revenue sharing.
The Feb. 28 deadline put in place by the owners to play a full schedule is now just two days away, but it does appear that some progress has been made over the last 24 hours or so.
Feb. 25, 7:16 p.m.
The two sides met for a fifth straight day on Friday, with these latest talks lasting longer than any of the previous four sessions.
For the first time this week, commissioner Rob Manfred was in attendance, and according to multiple reports, the sides met at least three times during the day. Manfred and MLBPA executive director Tony Clark met one-on-one as well.
According to Evan Drellich of The Athletic, “a little progress” was made on Friday, with the players making gains in the area of the draft. Per Drellich, the league made a proposal in that area and the players countered back.
Still, major issues like the CBT were not discussed on Friday. But at this point, any progress sounds like a good thing, though the league did cancel three more days of spring training, through March 7.
Both sides are expected to meet Saturday at noon.
Feb. 24, 5:22 p.m.
Another day of negotiations, another day of wheels spinning in the mud.
With the clock still ticking towards the Feb. 28 deadline, MLB and the MLBPA met for the fourth straight day on Thursday, but according to multiple reports, minimal progress was made as the union offered new proposals on the draft and service time manipulation.
Evan Drellich of The Athletic reports that the league did not react well to the latest proposal from the players, saying “today brought no substantive progress.”
MLB made it clear on Wednesday that regular season games will be canceled – not postponed – and players will lose salary if a deal is not struck by Feb. 28.
The two sides will meet again on Friday, but if these past four days are any indication, don’t expect much to change in the current standoff between the two sides.
Feb. 23, 6:58 p.m.
MLB and the players association met again on Wednesday, and while not much progress was made, the league made it clear that if a new deal is not struck by the Feb. 28 deadline, regular season games will be canceled, not postponed, and player pay would not be recouped, according to multiple reports.
During Wednesday’s talks, the league made just one new proposal, adding $10,000 to the minimum salary per year, per multiple reports.
Evan Drellich of The Athletic reports that the two sides will meet again for the fourth straight day on Thursday, when the players are expected to make a counteroffer in at lease one area, though it could be more.
Feb. 23, 9:26 a.m.
MLB and the MLBPA will meet on Wednesday for the third consecutive day as they attempt to reach a deal on a new CBA.
The league was reportedly unhappy with the union’s proposal on Tuesday, viewing the union’s request of an increase in annual salary from its prior proposal as a step backwards.
During Tuesday’s session, MLB also again suggested that a mediator be used in negotiations, with the union still not open to it.
According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the league plans to make a counteroffer on Wednesday.
MLB has set a Feb. 28 deadline for a deal to be reached in order for the regular season to begin on time on Mar. 31.
Feb. 22, 5:26 p.m.
The two sides met on Tuesday for slightly less than two hours, and the MLBPA did present the league its latest counteroffer.
According to multiple reports, the players offered some incremental changes in salary arbitration (75 percent of players with two-to-three years of service being eligible for arbitration, down from 80 percent) and the draft (seven lottery picks instead of eight), but there were no talks regarding the competitive balance tax (CBT).
The CBT, more commonly referred to as the luxury tax, taxes teams who exceed the luxury tax threshold. Under the expired CBA, teams that exceeded the luxury tax threshold for the first time paid a 20 percent tax on the first threshold, a 32 percent tax on the second threshold, and a 62.5 percent tax on the third threshold, while second time offenders paid 30, 42 and 75 percent, and third-time offenders paid 50, 62 and 95 percent, according to SNY’s Andy Martino.
Negotiating new CBT terms has been described as one of the major issues in these current bargaining talks, and as of yet, the two sides have not really dug into that facet.
Feb. 22, 10:42 a.m.
The union is expected to submit a counteroffer to the league during Tuesday’s meeting in Jupiter, Fla., per multiple reports.
The sides met for roughly five hours on Monday, with the league making some small concessions, including pulling a request that would’ve allowed for the elimination of minor league playing jobs and offering a small increase in the pre-arbitration bonus pool for players.
Monday’s meeting represented a change in tenor, with ESPN’s Buster Olney reporting that the tone was “much improved” and more about “problem-solving” than in weeks prior.
The league said last week that the plan was to have bargaining sessions every day this week if needed, with the goal being to avoid a delayed start to the regular season.
The start of spring training games has already been delayed until March 5 at the earliest.
In order for the regular season to start on time (which would be March 31), the league has set a deadline for Feb. 28 for an agreement to be reached on a new CBA.
Feb. 21, 6:30 p.m.
Around 6 p.m. ET, Monday afternoon’s meeting between MLB and MLBPA was broken up with MLB giving the players some new proposals.
According to Evan Drellich of The Athletic, MLB raised its pre-arbitration bonus pool proposal to $20 million – an increase of $5 million. There is still a large gap compared to what the players’ proposed – reportedly $100 million.
MLB also proposed to allow one more draft pick to be determined by the lottery. This would bring the number of picks up to four. However, the players have proposed eight picks.
There was also no revised Competitive Balance Tax (CBT), a major area of importance for both sides.
MLB also withdrew its request to control and potentially reduce the number of minor league jobs. It also withdrew its proposal to limit the number of times a player can be optioned to five. There is currently no limit.
Both sides met for five hours with each side meeting alone for three. MLB and MLBPA will likely meet Tuesday and every day this week to try and get a new CBA before Feb. 28 to have the regular season start on time.
Feb. 21, 9:38 a.m.
MLB and MLBPA will meet at 1 p.m. on Monday at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla.
The MLBPA has stressed that a deal needs to be in place by Feb. 28 in order for the season to start on time – Opening Day is currently slated for March 31.
It’s been rough negotiations so far, but when the league announced the postponement of spring training games, they also announced that the two sides will be meeting every day this week. With that, hopefully Feb. 28 doesn’t get put in the rearview mirror.
Feb. 18, 2:05 p.m.
MLB announced some good news and bad news on Friday.
The bad news is spring training games will not be played until at least Mar, 5.
The good news is MLB and MLBPA will meet every day next week “to negotiate and work hard towards starting the season on time.”
Below is the league’s full statement:
“We regret that, without a collective bargaining agreement in place, we must postpone the start of Spring Training games until no earlier than Saturday, March 5th. All 30 Clubs are unified in their strong desire to bring players back to the field and fans back to the stands. The Clubs have adopted a uniform policy that provides an option for full refunds for fans who have purchased tickets from the Clubs to any Spring Training games that are not taking place. We are committed to reaching an agreement that is fair to each side. On Monday, members of the owners’ bargaining committee will join an in-person meeting with the Players Association and remain every day next week to negotiate and work hard towards starting the season on time.”
The MLBPA released their own statement following the postponement of the start of Spring Training.
“MLB announced today that it ‘must’ postpone the start of spring training games. This is false. Nothing requires the league to delay the start of spring training, much like nothing required the league’s decision to implement the lockout in the first place. Despite these decisions by the league, Players remain committed to the negotiating process.”
Feb. 17, 9:28 p.m.
With a reported Feb. 28 deadline set for both sides to reach a deal in order to start the regular season on time, it sounds like talks between MLB and the MLBPA are about to start ramping up.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the league and the players association intend to hold multiple negotiation sessions starting Monday, Feb. 21, with the meetings occurring as often as every day.
Per Passan, multiple owners and players are expected to attend.
The MLB and MLBPA met for just 15 minutes on Thursday, with the league making its latest counterproposal.
Feb. 17, 1:23 p.m.
MLB and the MLBPA met for roughly 15 minutes on Thursday afternoon.
After the meeting ended, negotiators Dan Halem of MLB and Bruce Meyer of the MLBPA had a side session, per multiple reports.
During the initial meeting, the union — which had been expected to make a counterproposal to the offer extended by the league this past Saturday — came off its request for arbitration for every player who has two-plus years of service. In exchange, the union asked for 80 percent of players to go into the system and for an increase in the pre-arbitration bonus pool from $100 million to $115 million.
With commissioner Rob Manfred saying last week that spring training would likely have to be about four weeks long and that players would be able to report within a week of a new CBA being agreed to, the league — per Jeff Passan of ESPN — has set a deadline of Feb. 28 to reach a deal in order to prevent regular season games from being lost.
Passan recently reported that it could take 48-to-72 hours for a deal to be hammered out after the two sides have a breakthrough. That means a breakthrough will likely have to happen by next week to avoid a delay of Opening Day.
Feb. 16, 8:39 a.m.
MLB and the MLBPA are expected to meet again later this week, but that session has not yet been formally scheduled, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
The last time the two sides met was this past Saturday, when the league submitted a new proposal to the union.
The union has not yet responded to the latest proposal.
Feb. 15, 10:08 a.m.
The MLBPA is still deciding how to respond to the league’s recent proposal, which was submitted on Saturday, reports Evan Drellich of The Athletic.
Per The Athletic, the next collective bargaining session between the two sides has not been scheduled.
The league’s proposal on Saturday moved a bit in the direction of the players when it comes to minimum salary and some other issues, but did not really move at all when it comes to the luxury tax.
One of the key sticking points for the MLBPA is the luxury tax threshold and the penalties that come as a result of teams exceeding them. In the league’s latest proposal, exceeding certain thresholds came with the loss of a draft pick, including the loss of a first-round pick for exceeding the highest one — a penalty that will almost certainly be a non-starter for the MLBPA in negotiations.
Feb. 14, 8:28 p.m.
Major League Baseball asked for the ability to cut “hundreds” of minor league playing positions in its latest proposal to the MLBPA, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN.
Currently, teams are able to hold 180 minor leaguers in their system, but they wanted to lower that number to “below” 150, says Passan. The MLBPA will formally reject the proposal that would allow MLB to cut that number from 180 to 150.
This comes despite a five-round MLB Draft in 2020, cutting 42 minor league teams that same year, and a joint agreement between MLB and the MLBPA to cut future drafts down from 40 rounds to 20.
Feb. 14, 10:38 a.m.
With very little movement between MLB and the MLBPA as the lockout rages on, spring training has already been delayed (though there has been no official announcement about that) and the on-time start of spring training games (set for Feb. 26) is in serious danger.
The next — and most important — thing on the calendar is the likely drop-dead date for being able to have Opening Day (scheduled for Mar. 31) on time.
In other words, what is the latest possible day MLB and the MLBPA have to agree to a deal before regular season games are lost?
The above is something the league included in its latest proposal to the players, though the date hasn’t been revealed to the public.
But going off what commissioner Rob Manfred said last week about how long spring training needs to be and how much time will be needed between the end of the lockout and the start of spring training, it’s easy to come up with the potential drop-dead date.
Manfred said on Thursday that once a deal is reached, it should take less than a week to get players to camp. As far as a potential length of spring training, Manfred said players would need roughly four weeks.
If spring training is 28 days long, that means it technically has to start by Mar. 3 in order for Opening Day to happen. But that doesn’t factor in days for breaking camp and traveling to wherever each team’s regular season is starting, so let’s say spring training has to start by Mar. 1.
Going off the above, and Manfred’s statement that there will be less than a week needed to get players to camp once the lockout ends, it’s fair to believe that an agreement on a new CBA needs to be reached by around Feb. 24 in order for Opening Day to happen as scheduled — avoiding the “disastrous outcome” of lost regular season games that Manfred talked about last week.
Feb. 12, 1:57 p.m.
There is still no deal after MLB and the MLBPA met on Saturday afternoon.
The Athletic’s Evan Drellich says union officials are “underwhelmed,” and Lee added that “very little progress” was made.
Jon Heyman did hear from two players’ “side people” who said the offer was “not as (terrible) as most expected,” but the general consensus seems to be disappointment.
MLB offered to eliminate draft pick penalties for teams exceeding the first tax threshold, and they also offered to raise the threshold in the final three years of the deal. The league also offered a higher salary for third-year players from $700,000 to $725,000, as well as a $630,000 salary for all pre-arbitration players, and the teams could give them a raise if they see fit.
Feb. 12, 10:38 a.m.
The two sides will meet at 1 p.m. on Saturday in what may be the most important meeting to date.
MLB is expected to make an offer to the players’ association, which could make or break how negotiations go moving forward.
If there is no deal agreed upon (which is expected), spring training will almost certainly be delayed, and depending on how the negotiations go, the start of the regular season will be in doubt.
If there were no lockout, players would already be reporting to spring training, so there is definitely pressure on both sides, but maybe more so on the owners’, to get something done sooner rather than later.
Feb. 10, 4:11 p.m.
Francisco Lindor spoke with SNY’s Andy Martino on Thursday outside the owners meetings in Orlando, Fla., and discussed whether the players are willing to lose regular season games if their demands aren’t met.
“At the end of the day, we just want a good deal,” Lindor told SNY. “If that’s what it comes down to. We don’t want to do it. We want to play the full season. But if that’s what it comes down to. We continue to come to the table and bring good things, so we’re ready.”
Lindor, who hadn’t yet seen Rob Manfred‘s comments earlier on Thursday, said the players remain united.
“The players are very aware of everything that’s happening,” Lindor said. “They’re very educated. Everybody’s together.”
Yankees star outfielder Aaron Judge also attended the meetings on Thursday, and was pleased with the outcome from the players’ side.
“A lot more guys showed up than I expected, which is great. It turned out great, just looking forward to getting this thing done,” Judge said.
Feb. 10, 11:18 a.m.
Speaking with reporters on Thursday for the first time since the lockout started, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said he’s optimistic a deal will be reached that allows Opening Day to happen on time on Mar. 31.
“I see missing games as a disastrous outcome for this industry,” Manfred said from the owners meetings in Orlando, Fla., with him adding that a deal is “always one breakthrough away.”
Manfred also said he is not yet prepared to officially delay the start of spring training (scheduled to begin on Feb. 16), with the league set to unveil its new proposal to the players during a meeting on Saturday.
Whether spring training starts as currently scheduled (which would be surprising at this point) is a tiny aspect in the grand scheme of the lockout, especially because a full six-week spring training is not needed in order for the regular season to begin on time.
Manfred explained that once a deal is reached on a new CBA, it should take less than a week to get players to camp. As far as a potential length of spring training, Manfred said players would need roughly four weeks.
Manfred also revealed that the two sides had officially agreed on a universal DH, said free agent draft pick compensation has been eliminated, and noted that expanded playoffs in 2022 are possible.
When asked what the players’ top priorities were and what was holding up a deal, Manfred was evasive.
Throughout the negotiations and in public, the MLBPA has repeatedly cited an increase in the minimum salary, an increase in the luxury tax threshold, and parameters put in place to eliminate service time manipulation as key elements they want addressed.
Feb. 9, 9:27 p.m.
The league will submit a counteroffer to players after the owners meetings in Orlando conclude on Thursday, according to SNY MLB Insider Andy Martino.
According to multiple reports, the next negotiation session appears set for Saturday, marking the two sides’ first negotiating session in 11 days.
Per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, the offer will involve core economic issues, and “hope remains that it could trigger something to get a deal done on time for the regular season to begin as scheduled, or close.”
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred will speak from the owners meetings on Thursday, with the industry belief being that he will announce a delayed start to spring training, originally set to being Feb. 16.
Feb. 9, 1:23 p.m.
“I was at our PA meeting in AZ and it was exciting to see solidarity this high,” Cole tweeted on Wednesday. “We had 100+ players show up and are united to protect the integrity of the game.”
Many of the players and MLBPA officials are meeting this week in Arizona.
Meanwhile, the quarterly MLB owners meetings are currently taking place in Orlando, Fla., where commissioner Rob Manfred is expected to speak on Thursday.
With the on-time start of spring training (scheduled for Feb. 16) in peril and the league recently reneging on making a counteroffer to the MLBPA, there are no meetings scheduled between the union and the league.
Feb. 7, 12:46 p.m.
United States Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh has communicated with MLB a willingness to get involved to help facilitate the end of the lockout.
“I have spoken to both the MLBPA and MLB about the ongoing contract negotiations and encourage both sides to continue engagement,” Walsh said via a spokesperson. “Like any contract negotiation in any industry, I stand ready to help facilitate productive conversations that result in the best outcome for workers and employers.”
Walh’s offer to assist comes days after the MLBPA rejected a request from the league for a federal mediator to join the process.
The league’s request for the federal mediator was blasted by the players, many of whom took to social media to voice their objection.
MLB owners will meet in Orlando, Fla. from Tuesday through Thursday for their annual meetings. Per Jon Heyman, the MLBPA believes owners will send a new proposal in the coming days.
The on-time start of spring training, which is scheduled to begin in nine days, is very much in doubt.
Feb. 5, 11:39 a.m.
While predicting that spring training will be lost, the reliever said Rob Manfred has not negotiated in good faith with the players, and is instead doing what he can to win the labor battle, rather than provide fair opportunities for both parties.
“He’s just not somebody who is not gonna use every ounce – him and all of his people that he put around him, his team and all the executives, are going to leverage every single ounce of, like, everything… because it’s not in good faith,” May said. “This isn’t a mutually beneficial situation. They want to win.”
“So in the past, there’s been an element of respect for the game of baseball and tradition and a romantic [feeling] – they like baseball. Those things are not on Rob’s radar. They’re just not that important to him. It’s just that simple. He just doesn’t really think about the fan as a fan, he doesn’t really think about the player as people, he thinks about all of us as a dollar sign, and he wants to move the pieces in order to maximize the number of dollar signs that go to his bosses. That is just the way that it is…
“I don’t know him. I don’t know him as a person. I just know that he does it over and over and over and over… It’s all just manipulation, and it’s all a chess board move. It’s just this big chess game, and this chess game needs to go to the very, very end to get the maximize benefits for the owners. So this is not gonna be in good faith negotiation. Not a single negotiation with the guy has been in good faith. He doesn’t do good faith things. Good faith things ‘I want you to come out in this situation where you’re happy, but I also want to be happy.’ This is more of, he goes, ‘As long as I’m happy, I don’t care if you’re happy.’ That’s the way that it’s being approached. ‘Good faith’ needs to stop being said. It’s bad faith. Good faith doesn’t exist, so stop acting like it was even a possibility. It’s not the way he operates.”
Feb. 4, 3:32 p.m.
After the MLBPA rejected the league’s request for a federal mediator to help facilitate the end of the lockout, numerous players, including Mets right-handed pitcher Max Scherzer, took to social media to express their displeasure with the league.
“We don’t need mediation because what we are offering to MLB is fair for both sides,” Scherzer tweeted. “We want a system where threshold and penalties don’t function as caps, allows younger players to realize more of their market value, makes service time manipulation a thing of the past, and eliminate tanking as a winning strategy.”
Around the time Scherzer and other players were making comments of their own, MLB released a statement doubling down on the already-rejected request of mediation:
Our goal is to have players on the field and fans in the ballparks for Spring Training and Opening Day. With camps scheduled to open in less than two weeks, it is time to get immediate assistance from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to help us work through our differences and break the deadlock. It is clear the most productive path forward would be the involvement of an impartial third party to help bridge gaps and facilitate an agreement. It is hard to understand why a party that wants to make an agreement would reject mediation from the federal agency specifically tasked with resolving these disputes, including many successes in professional sports. MLB remains committed to offering solutions at the table and reaching a fair agreement for both sides.
Feb. 4, 1:30 p.m.
The MLBPA has officially denied MLB’s request of a federal mediator.
“Two months after implementing their lockout, and just two days after committing to the Players that a counterproposal would be made, the owners refused to make a counter, and instead requested mediation… The clearest path to a fair and timely agreement is to get back to the table. Players stand ready to negotiate,” the Players’ Association said in a statement.
It is unknown when the next meeting between the two sides will be.
Feb. 4, 12:40 a.m.
It was reported on Feb. 3 that the league requested a federal mediator in order to help end the lockout.
But Evan Drellich of The Athletic reports that the MLBPA is likely to reject mediation on Feb. 4, with the players viewing the mediation request as a “win-win” PR move by the league.
Drellich notes that federal mediation was also used during the strike/lockout of 1994-95, but did little to progress talks.
Feb. 3, 5:00 p.m.
The league has told the Players Association that it will not be making a counteroffer to the players, just two days after telling the players that it would, according to The Athletic’s Evan Drellich.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports the players made two proposals to the league on Feb. 1.
In recent days, the two sides have made “little progress,” with Feb. 2’s talks not even involving core economic issues.
This news comes on the heels of reports that the league has asked for a federal mediator to step in and assist the negotiations, a move that must be approved by the MLBPA.
Feb. 3, 4:31 p.m.
MLB has requested the immediate assistance of a federal mediator in order to help end the lockout, per multiple reports.
The request by the league would have to be approved by the MLBPA.
The sides have met multiple times in recent days, though the session on Feb. 2 did not involve discussions about core economic issues.
According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the expectation is that the sides will again discuss core economic issues within the next few days.
With the current pace the sides are on, a delay of spring training appears likely.
It is conceivable that Opening Day (scheduled for Mar. 31) could happen on time even if spring training is delayed, but it would likely have to start no later than the beginning of March in order to avoid lost regular season games.
Feb. 2, 6:20 p.m.
After “little progress was made” in core economic discussions on Feb. 2, both the MLB and MLBPA are set to restart talks either at the end of the week or early next week, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.
Heyman adds that other, “less contentious,” issues are on the agenda for Feb. 3-4, including drug policies, international play and more. The players offered a 12-team playoff format and MLB proposed the universal DH and to drop free agent compensation.
Progress on the biggest issues for both sides have made baby steps, but Heyman believes that universal DH will be in place in 2022.
Feb. 2, 8:29 a.m.
MLB and the MLBPA will meet again on Wednesday, but core economic issues will not be discussed during that session, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
The meeting between the two sides on Tuesday to discuss core economic issues went 90 minutes. According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, “little progress was made.”
In turn, the on-time opening of spring training — set to begin in two weeks — is in danger.
The Athletic’s Evan Drellich noted that Tuesday’s meeting was “heated.” The MLBPA’s focus was on discussing service-time manipulation and the pre-arbitration bonus pool, where they dropped their request from $105 million to $100 million.
Feb. 1, 8:43 a.m.
MLB and the MLBPA will meet on Tuesday for another bargaining session, according to multiple reports.
Despite the two sides meeting in person multiple times in recent weeks and making what they view as concessions, a deal to end the lockout is not close, Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic reported on Monday.
Per the report, among the things holding up a potential deal are the minimum salary, arbitration rules, the luxury tax (players want it to be higher), the structure of the proposed MLB Draft lottery, and service-time manipulation.
Scott Boras, the most powerful agent in the sport, told The Athletic that the players want fairness.
And Boras also said that player salaries should be much higher due in part to the rising values of the franchises.
“History has told a story that the players now understand,” Boras said. “And the history is that, what you negotiate from is appreciation of franchise values and revenue increases . . . From the players’ perspective, it is about how successful this game is from those two perspectives. And they want fairness. Players want fairness in the success of the game.”
Per The Athletic, spring training — which is supposed to start in two weeks — is likely to be delayed.
Jan. 25, 1:38 p.m.
On Tuesday during the second straight day of in-person negotiations, the MLBPA proposed to the league a new minimum salary of $775,000, which would be up from the $570,500 it was in 2021, reports Jon Heyman of MLB Network.
Per multiple reports, the league countered with an offer of $615,000 for the minimum salary.
According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, the league also withdrew its offer to change the arbitration structure and agreed to accept parameters regarding a pre-arbitration bonus pool for the top 30 eligible players based on WAR. However, the two sides are far apart on money for the bonus pool, with the MLBPA asking for $105 million and the league offering $10 million.
Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to spring training in roughly three weeks, so the two sides will need to work fast in order for spring training to start on time.
The first spring training games are scheduled for Feb. 26, which includes the openers for the Mets and Yankees.
In the event spring training is substantially delayed, there is a chance Opening Day (set for March 31) and additional regular season games will be impacted.
Jan. 24, 3:34 p.m.
During an in-person negotiating session that lasted more than two hours, the MLBPA officially rejected the league’s first proposal and made a counteroffer, per multiple reports.
The sides, in what can only be viewed as progress given the lack of contact earlier this offseason, will meet again on Tuesday, reports Hannah Keyser of Yahoo!.
Per Evan Drellich of The Athletic, the union made two significant concessions on Monday.
The first was to drop its request for an age-based free agency system that would’ve sped up the years to free agency for some players. The league had not been open to that change.
The second was a revision to a proposal regarding revenue sharing.
According to The Athletic, the two “major hurdles” left to clear revolved around whether the league is open to any changes at all regarding revenue sharing and whether the league is open to reworking rules regarding when players hit arbitration.
Jan. 20, 6:44 p.m.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the owners and players association will meet again on Monday, Jan. 24, at which point the players will present a counteroffer to the league.
MLB made its first proposal to the players association last week, though things reportedly didn’t go very well.
As of now, the Spring Training schedule is still set to start on Feb. 26.
Jan. 19, 10:23 a.m.
The MLBPA is preparing a response to the proposal made by the league last week, reports Jon Heyman of MLB Network, who says that response will be “delivered within days.”
Per Heyman, the players were disappointed that the “biggest issues” weren’t addressed in the initial proposal from the league.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, that initial proposal included funneling additional money to all players with two-plus years of service time, awarding draft picks to teams that don’t manipulate service time of top prospects, and included a potential lottery for the MLB Draft.
Per multiple reports, the initial proposal also included the addition of the universal DH and a 14-team postseason, but it did not contain anything regarding earlier free agency or an increase of the luxury tax.
Jan. 13, 2:28 p.m.
The MLBPA did not react positively to the proposal made by the league on Thursday, reports ESPN’s Jeff Passan, who noted that “few on either side” expected the reaction to be positive.
Per SNY’s Andy Martino, some baseball operations people reading the tea leaves have a hard time seeing spring training opening before the middle or end of March.
The MLB and MLBPA bargaining session on Thursday was the first where core economics were expected to be discussed, and the first official session since the lockout began on Dec. 2.
Jan. 5, 9:56 a.m.
in a wide-ranging piece from ESPN’s Jeff Passan that was written after he spoke to dozens of sources around the labor negotiations, Passan reported that the belief is the earliest negotiations will ramp up is late-January.
Per Passan, the players are asking for a host of things, including earlier free agency, earlier arbitration, changes to the draft system, raises for younger players, and a higher luxury tax threshold.
As far as what the league wants, Passan reports that they’re seeking to expand the playoffs and are focused on “continuing its curtailed spending.”
Passan notes that the luxury tax threshold, which was $210 million in 2021, could be a “focal point” in negotiations, with the MLBPA wanting it raised due in part to the fact that teams often treat it as a de facto salary cap.
To reach a deal, Passan — who spoke with an owner, league officials, players, and other sources to get a handle on it — said it could require raising minimum salaries for players, adding the universal DH, expanding the playoffs from 10 to 14 teams, raising the luxury tax threshold, and making significant changes to the MLB Draft and free agency draft compensation rules.
As far as whether negotiations could cause the loss of games, Passan writes that two players he spoke with “believe” games will be missed, while others are more optimistic.
Jan. 4, 9:39 a.m.
As of Jan. 3, there weren’t any negotiating sessions scheduled between MLB and the MLBPA, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
The two sides met in December after the lockout began, but The Athletic reported that core economics of the new CBA would likely not be discussed until January.
Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to spring training in mid-February, and spring training games are scheduled to start in late-February.
Complicating matters further is that well over 100 players are still free agents, meaning a deal at the last second would send them scrambling to find new teams.
In order for the regular season to start on time, a deal would likely have to be reached no later than the third week of February.
Jan. 3, 10:19 a.m.
In a wide-ranging interview with Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times, Mets RHP Max Scherzer discussed the potential timing of a deal, the need to pay younger players more, the luxury tax, the “integrity” of the game, and more.
On the possibility that the season could be disrupted, Scherzer said it’s “hard to speculate” right now.
“You’re just in limbo right now,” Scherzer said. “You’re training ready to be good to go for when spring training starts. If that doesn’t happen, then you make different decisions based on that. But until that happens, you have to have the mentality that we’re going to be playing on time. Any other kind of speculation is just hearsay.”
As far as the integrity of the game, Scherzer explained that one thing the players want addressed is the number of teams that go into seasons with no “intent” of winning.
“Even though that can be a strategy to win in future years, we’ve seen both small-market and large-market clubs embrace tanking, and that cannot be the optimal strategy for the owners,” Scherzer said.
With spring training set to start in roughly six weeks and games scheduled to begin in late-February, negotiations between MLB and the MLBPA on the new CBA are expected to resume this month.
Dec. 15, 7:17 p.m.
The MLB and the Players’ Association are unlikely to discuss core economics of the new CBA until January, according to The Athletic.
Evan Drellich notes that both sides are not “as contentious” on matters like the luxury tax and years of arbitration, but “communication on the big-dollar issues remains on hold.”
The MLBPA made a proposal earlier this week, but to no avail or counter. The two sides will meet in Dallas on Dec. 16.
Dec. 2, 10:19 a.m.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday morning during a news conference that he remains optimistic a deal will be reached to end the lockout before regular season games are threatened.
Manfred also downplayed the perceived bad blood between MLB and the MLBPA — something that reared its head in the negotiations before the 2020 season during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic that resulted in an even more delayed start and a 60-game season.
“I think people put way too much emphasis on that issue,” Manfred said. “At the end of the day, it’s about substance. We’re here. They’re there. We need to bridge that gap.”
Said Manfred about why the lockout happened:
“People need pressure sometimes to get to an agreement, but candidly we didn’t feel that sense of pressure on the other side during the course of this week,” Manfred explained. “The only tool available to you under the act is to apply economic leverage.”
Dec. 2, 12:45 a.m.
Rob Manfred made things official just after midnight, announcing that the MLB owners “have been forced to commence a lockout of Major League Players.”
Manfred penned a letter to the fans, explaining his disappointment with the situation the game finds itself in.
“Simply put, we believe that an offseason lockout is the best mechanism to protect the 2022 season. We hope that the lockout will jumpstart the negotiations and get us to an agreement that will allow the season to start on time,” Manfred wrote. “This defensive lockout was necessary because the Players Association’s vision for Major League Baseball would threaten the ability of most teams to be competitive. It’s simply not a viable option. From the beginning, the MLBPA has been unwilling to move from their starting position, compromise, or collaborate on solutions.”
The MLBPA also released a statement of their own, calling the shutdown a “drastic measure, regardless of the timing.”
MLBPA director Tony Clark released his own statement, saying that this “drastic and unnecessary measure will not affect the Players’ resolve to reach a fair contract.”
With the players locked out, no player transactions can occur. The major league portion of the Winter Meetings has also been canceled.
Source: Yahoo Sports