Upcoming MLB season thrown into doubt

MLB lockout negotiations turn hostile

by KennyWhiteside

Posted 2 years ago

The deadline set by Major League Baseball to ensure a 162-game season and save opening day is now upon us. If there is no deal by Monday, the league has said that it will start canceling regular season games. The league has also said if a game is cancelled it will not be rescheduled and the players would not be paid for them, putting further pressure on the players to make a deal.

On Friday, it had looked like the two sides were making progress with multiple offers and counter offers being traded back and forth as the sides moved closer together on issues around the draft and disincentivize tanking. But as evening approached, the league countered with a proposal that showed what they truly wanted, that being a 14-team playoff field. An expanded postseason would be worth an estimated $100 million annually for the owners and is one of the top items on their wish listen and possibly the strongest bargaining chip the players have. It simply is not something they would give up for simple changes to the draft. To this the players union, responded with a comprehensive plan hoping to close the gap on some of the larger issues in exchange from expanding the playoff field.

The union's offer, included multiple large concessions, such as:

  • Asking for all players with two-plus years of service time to be arbitration-eligible. Their latest proposal had that at the top 75% of two-plus players. On Saturday, they reduced that request to 35%. Currently, 22% of two-plus players are awarded arbitration. (The League has said they will not go a single percentage higher)

  • On revenue sharing, the union withdrew the portion of the proposal that would reduce the net transfer between teams. They’re still proposing the introduction of an incentive program under which small-market teams could earn additional revenue if they show growth in their local revenue. (The League responded that they will not negotiate on revenue sharing)

The league, however, characterized its own counter as seeing a lousy proposal and responding in kind. As a result, the players were considering walking away from the table, per a person familiar with their plans. They made what they felt was a substantive offer and owners rejected it and refused to even offer a serious counter off. The players furious, but have agreed to return to the negotiating table to attempt to save a season that seems with a deal that seems less likely by the minute.

Topic: Sports

Tags: MLB lockout

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