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After 45 days, Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) resumed talks with the intention of advancing on the objective of reach an agreement that will put an end to the work stoppage that began on December 2 and begin preparations for the 2022 season.
Thursday’s meeting, which lasted about an hour, showed little progress. and immediately got everyone thinking about an obvious delay in the start of Spring Training.
Central economic issues were to be the main topic of these discussions, however two people familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press (AP) on condition of anonymity that MLB’s proposal contained no movement on free agency eligibility or luxury tax thresholds.
Regarding the issue of luxury tax levels, minimum wages for players, and the union’s proposal to decrease revenue sharing, which would leave teams with more money to spend, there was no greater intention of agreement.
Another obvious disagreement, and perhaps one of the most important, has to do with the threshold of the luxury tax, and that is that while the MLB proposes to take it to $214 million dollars, the MLBPA demands that it be raised to $245 million. It should be remembered that until the 2021 season, the threshold was $210 million.
One more agreement that must be established has to do with the expansion of the postseason, which MLB wants to take from 10 teams to 14However, the players’ union offers to raise it to a maximum of 12 clubs.
Meanwhile, journalist Enrique Rojas of ESPN reported that “in MLB’s proposal to the Players Association today, Thursday, the figure of the “international draft” appears as a new system to recruit foreign players, replacing the current form of free agency, which this year starts next Saturday.
On the other hand, the representatives of the Major Leagues maintained their proposal on replacing salary arbitration with a bonus fund for players with “super two” status, 22% higher by serve than those with at least two seasons but fewer than three.
In turn, the team owners relented by proposing to address the union’s concern about the manipulation of club service time, by allowing a team to obtain an additional draft pick for an achievement by a player who is not yet eligible for arbitration, such as a high result in prize voting.
In that sense, the MLB offered to “eliminate draft pick compensation for players lost through free agency.”, who has been in the employment contract since 1976; expand designated hitter to the National League; and instituting an NBA-style lottery draft to address the rebuild, though the parties differ on how many teams the lottery would include.
After finishing the meeting, the Association of Players indicated to the representatives of Las Mayores, that He will respond shortly, however he did not specify a possible date.
It should be remembered that the Spring Trainings is scheduled to start on February 16 and taking into account that now the players must go through the respective tests against Covid, it is necessary that an agreement be reached as soon as possible so that there is no delay in any aspect.
According to experts, the minimum time that Spring Training players need is one month, therefore, and thinking of avoiding a delay in the start of the regular season scheduled for March 31, both MLB and the MLBPA need to reach agreement by the end of February at the latest.
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