Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
MLB and the Players Association failing to come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) last month resulted in team owners immediately imposing a lockout, which ended 27 consecutive years of labor peace.
The two sides haven’t made much progress in the weeks since as they reportedly only met twice to discuss non-core economic issues.
With pitchers and catchers due to report to camps next month, there is an urgency for MLB and the MLBPA to pick up the pace of talks in order to potentially avoid the start of Spring Training potentially being delayed.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the league and union are scheduled to meet later this week, with core economic issues expected to be at the forefront of negotiations:
Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association plan to hold a bargaining session Thursday, the first since the league locked out the players Dec. 2, sources familiar with the situation told ESPN on Tuesday.
MLB reached out to the union to set up the meeting, during which the league plans to make a proposal that touches on some core economic and competitive issues, according to sources.
MLB initiating the meeting with the Players Association is reason for optimism as the sides have barely been on speaking terms since the start of the lockout.
The core issues at hand that the league and union must find common ground on are competitive integrity and service-time manipulation. MLB also has pushed several new rule changes that the Players Association may not be fond of, including an expanded postseason and draft lottery.
Luxury tax threshold a ‘focal point’ in CBA negotiations
The luxury tax threshold reportedly is another issue that will be pivotal in MLB and the Players Association agreeing to a new CBA.
Teams have become increasingly wary of exceeding the luxury tax threshold in recent years as they don’t want to pay a penalty and essentially treat it as a soft salary cap.
This in turn has had a negative effect on free agency, with several notable players remaining unsigned late into the offseason and having to settle for a lesser contract.
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