It looks like progress is being made in talks between MLB and the MLBPA. The two sides met once again for the second day in a row in New York City, and while no deal was agreed to but that is to be expected, there have been more talks on where the owners and players can in fact meet on a new collective bargaining agreement.
On Monday, the MLBPA made modifications to their initial proposals, we detailed them yesterday, but just in case you missed it, essentially, the players association dropped its initial proposal that players would reach free agency in less than six years and their initial proposal for revenue sharing is being altered. The owners were unwilling to budge on either issue. Tuesday’s talks had a slight agreement made between the two sides.
Jeff Passan reports that MLB agreed to accept the parameters of a pre-arbitration bonus pool for the top 30 players in WAR. But the two sides are still far apart with the Players Association seeking $105 million in pool money while the league offered $10 million. Passan reports that players are “laughing at” MLB’s offer.
In addition, MLB offered a minimum salary raise to $615,000 while the MLBA wants $775,000. MLB withdrew an offer to change the arbitration structure.
The main takeaway is a pre-arbitration bonus pool gets the best young players paid more. It’s something the MLBPA has stressed throughout the lockout that players need to be paid more for their early-year contributions.
MLB Network insider Jon Heyman says the sides are “making real progress the last two days.” He suggests that the luxury tax may be the biggest hurdle to conquer.
While there hasn’t been a firm commitment to a new date on when the two sides will meet again, both MLB and the Players Union are expected to meet again soon, says Bob Nightengale. The sides could meet later this week to discuss non-core economic issues.
Either way, the clock is ticking as we inch closer and closer to the tentative start of Spring Training.