The MLB and MLBPA met for three hours yesterday and multiple more today, so it seems that progress is finally being made towards a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. But how far apart are the two sides? What exactly is being negotiated on for future seasons? Let’s break it down.
Arbitration and Free Agency
One of the major points for the players leading into the CBA negotiations has been allowing players more freedom in deciding their future and the amount of money they can make early in their careers. Specifically, the players have requested an expansion of the MLB’s “Super Twos” rules that previously allowed the top 22% of players to enter arbitration earlier, as well as a significant bonus pool for players in arbitration.
So far in negotiations, the MLBPA has already dropped a provision that would have allowed players to enter free agency a year earlier. Time will tell to see if they continue to negotiate on this front. Chances are slim they’ll keep everything else they’re looking for.
While the MLBPA doesn’t negotiate for minor leaguers, the union understands today’s minor league players are the future MLB players, so they do keep their interests in mind. This was especially made clear when the MLB decided to propose this in one of their deals:
Major League Baseball asked for the ability to eliminate hundreds of minor league playing jobs in its latest labor proposal, sources told ESPN. The league would not be allowed to implement the plan until after 2022.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 15, 2022
Details, free and unlocked, at ESPN: https://t.co/ZkKNE7LhsG
Essentially, the MLB doesn’t want to pay up to 30 players per team, shrinking the minor league system and cutting costs for the owners. For context on the cost of minor league player salaries:
This is ROUGHLY what it costs an MLB team to pay out a full minor league system of players making minimum salary.— Dallas Braden (@DALLASBRADEN209) February 15, 2022
(Dominican summer league rosters have 35 players making 3,000$ a season. That’s an extra 105,000$) pic.twitter.com/Uz5qfBfrhX
This wouldn’t actually reduce the amount of teams, as Passan mentions in the article, meaning costs are only reduced in terms of these player salaries. This also means that fewer players will be able to try to fulfill their dreams by playing baseball for a living. Luckily, it seems this provision has been removed by the MLB:
Sources: Major League Baseball withdrew its proposal asking the union to allow MLB control/ability to reduce minor league roster sizes. MLB also withdrew its proposal limiting the number of times a player can be optioned to 5. (Right now, MLB doesn’t have a proposed limit.)— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) February 22, 2022
Tanking and Draft Rules
The final area concerning both the MLB and MLBPA is how to properly curb tanking through initiating a lottery system for draft compensation. This seems to be the area on which both sides agree the most, with the details being all that is being decided on. The MLB is now offering a lottery for the top four teams. The MLBPA wants eight. Although reports are now saying they’ve moved to seven in today’s proposal.
How Far Apart Are We?
Given these areas, it looks like the two sides aren’t actually very far apart except when it comes to arbitration and the bonus pool for players. As of today’s negotiations, the MLBPA is asking for 75% of the “Super Twos” to get arbitration and a $775k minimum salary for big leaguers. The last they asked the bonus pool to be is $115 million. The owners, to my knowledge, haven’t countered on the amount of super Twos going to arbitration, but have proposed a measly $15 million for the bonus pool. It seems to me that will need some serious work for the two sides to meet in the middle. Given this is where we currently stand with just over a month before the season is supposed to start, I would expect there to be a major delay to the season. But with meetings expected to continue through the week, who knows?
Image Source: Trevor Williams @mellamotrevor on Twitter
Tired of soreness and pain slowing you and your workouts down? Change that. Melt stress away anytime, anywhere with the ExoGun. Designed to give you the ultimate recovery utilizing percussive therapy and deep tissue massage, it will change your recovery life FOREVER. Follow this link (Exogun) for 10% off or use code promo code CGS10 at checkout!
Feeling tired, unable to focus and low on energy? We can help. Go to shockedenergy.com today and get yourself Shocked Energy today! Obtaining maximum energy with healthy ingredients. Use the promo codes “CGS21” or “CGSN” for 10% off your order today.