MLB Lockout Rumors: Players Association Expecting CBA Offer After Owners Meetings

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It has been over two months since MLB team owners unanimously imposed a lockout at the beginning of December after the 2017-21 collective bargaining agreement (CBA) expired.

A quick solution wasn’t expected given the animosity between the league and Players Association (MLBPA), and that has proven true these past few weeks as they remain at odds over several economic issues.

The latest obstacle was the union declining MLB’s request for a federal mediator to become involved in CBA negotiations. That came after the league opted against making a counteroffer following talks with the MLBPA that went nowhere.

According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, owners meetings are taking place this week in Orlando, and there is an expectation they will present another proposal to the players shortly after:

MLB owners meet Tuesday-Thursday in Orlando, where they will regroup. The union expectation is a new MLB offer will come soon, and presumably that happens after the owners convene. It’s obviously getting late with spring training originally scheduled to start 10 days from today.

— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 6, 2022

Since rejecting the league’s request for the involvement of a federal mediator to help resolve labor disputes, MLB and the Players Association have only met once to discuss non-core economic issues such as the amateur draft.

Among the economic issues yet to be resolved are establishing a bonus pool for pre-arbitration players, the luxury tax threshold (competitive balance tax) and the minimum salary. As of their recent negotiations, MLB and the MLBPA were $90 million apart on a pre-arbitration bonus pool.

Given how far apart they remain on a new CBA, it is almost a certainty that Spring Training will be delayed. Depending on how much progress is made in the next week or two, the regular season could also be in jeopardy of starting later than planned as well.

Players Association reportedly ‘galvanized’ against Manfred

While in years past it was speculated the MLB benefitted from a union that splintered among differing opinions, the players are said to be united this time around, largely due to frustration with commissioner Rob Manfred.

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