Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
MLB and the Players Association (MLBPA) met on Thursday to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) in effort to end the ongoing lockout that now is six weeks in.
The two sides have been far apart on key matters, including economic and competitive integrity issues. They previously only met twice since the lockout began for minor meetings that did not address any of the issues.
Thursday was the first meeting of substance since the lockout began on Dec. 1 at 9:59 p.m. PT and the two sides discussed economic issues, which included MLB submitting a proposal to the MLBPA.
However, it doesn’t appear much progress was made as the players were ultimately disappointed by MLB’s latest offer, according to Evan Drellich of The Athletic
The good news Thursday afternoon was that Major League Baseball and the Players Association talked core economics for the first time in 43 days, and the first time since owners locked out the players on Dec. 2. The bad news was that the players were discouraged by the proposal MLB made, a proposal that avoided some core subjects where the players are hoping to make gains, and in other areas included changes the players felt were insignificant.
One of the key issues for the players that will need to be addressed is the luxury tax threshold, which currently sits at $210 million.
In MLB’s latest proposal, they reportedly offered to give a slight increase to the number while the players were looking for a significant increase. As always, the economics of the deal are the key to any CBA as players look to gain a bigger share of the revenue they earn.
Although MLB revenue has been rising every season other than the pandemic-shortened 2020 season,average team payrolls have dropped by nearly 5% from their previous high in 2017.
The union also hopes to address the issue of teams actively tanking for better draft positions, which hurts the on-field product and decreases player value.
MLB has claimed the proposals from the Players Association “would threaten the ability of most teams to be competitive,” however, they have not released their financial information to prove that true.
CBA needs to be finalized by early March to avoid season delays
Without much progress made after the latest proposals, it remains to be seen when the two sides will meet again.
With Spring Training scheduled for next month, the two sides will need to speed up their negotiations and there would need to be an agreement by early March at the latest to avoid missing any regular-season games.
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