Sources have told ESPN that talks between the MLB and MLBPA were unsuccessful. The meeting was lacking movement on issues like player contracts, arbitration process and revenue sharing.
The “mlb cba negotiations” is a term that describes the ongoing labor talks between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association. While there was no progress made at the meeting, it appears that spring training is not likely to be delayed.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan
- MLB insider on ESPN
- Author of “The Arm: Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of Sports’ Most Valuable Commodity,” “The Arm: Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of Sports’ Most Valuable Commodity”
The Major League Baseball Players Association and MLB met for a collective bargaining conference on Tuesday afternoon, but no major progress was made, according to individuals familiar with the situation, nearly insuring a postponement of spring training.
While pitchers and catchers are expected to arrive to certain camps as early as February 14, sources say players and management expect spring training to be delayed. The length of time will be determined by how quickly discussions go, which have been stalled since the league locked out players on December 2.
According to sources, the MLBPA’s proposal on Tuesday included a reduction in the bonus pool request for pre-arbitration players from $105 million to $100 million.
The union also used award voting and performance to lower the amount of players who would get an extra year of service time, slowing their road to free agency. Along with infielders who rank in the top seven of WAR at their position and outfielders, starting pitchers, and relievers who rank in the top 20, all players who finish in the top five of Rookie of the Year voting, top three of reliever of the year voting, or make first- or second-team All-MLB would qualify. Previously, the union had requested those in the top 10 and top 30.
The sliver of progress, according to insiders, emanated from the union’s statement that it was open to the concept of rewarding clubs who do not use a draft selection to influence a top prospect’s service.
There are still major differences between the two sides on a number of fundamental topics, virtually all of them are related to the game’s underlying economics, which have altered considerably in recent years in favor of clubs. Players’ average salaries have fallen for four seasons in a row, and they’re looking to change that in a variety of ways.
The competitive balance tax, a significant problem that has been unaddressed in all four sessions since the lockout started, was not addressed by the players. The union just reduced its CBT threshold offer to $245 million. The league’s salary cap stays at $214 million, a little increase from the current $210 million, and comes with more onerous consequences for clubs whose payrolls exceed it, including as higher taxes and tougher draft-pick penalties.
The league agreed to the union’s idea for a bonus pool to be split among the top players with less than three years’ service time in its most recent offer a week ago, but only gave $10 million instead of the $105 million the players had sought.
MLB decided to raise its proposed minimum compensation from $600,000 to $615,000, still well short of the $775,000 demanded by the union. The league also dropped an earlier plan that would have compensated all players in that class from a pool and removed so-called Super 2s (a group of 22 percent of players with two to three years of experience who have the highest service time and earn an additional year of arbitration).
The league’s response came a day after the union abandoned its desire for modifications to the six-year free agency system and revised its plan to minimize revenue transfers from large-market clubs to small-market teams, demanding $30 million instead of the $100 million it had originally requested.
MLB has warned the MLBPA that free agency, revenue sharing, and changes to arbitration (the union wants it to start for all players after two years instead of three) are non-starters, and has proposed that the items be dropped from discussions on Dec. 1 so that they may concentrate on other problems. The suggestion was rejected by the union, and the last meeting before the lockout lasted just seven minutes.
The parties waited 43 days to meet again, and the first meeting of the new year did nothing to progress discussions. In addition to the changes to arbitration for players with two to three years of service, the league proposed a system in which teams — ostensibly to incentivize teams to place their best prospects on opening day rosters — and made a minor tweak to its draft lottery, making all non-playoff teams eligible to receive one of the first three picks. The union has remained steadfast in its demand for a lottery covering the first eight choices.
The “mlb collective bargaining agreement 2021” is a contract between the MLB and MLBPA. The current CBA expires on December 1, 2020. After the meeting, no progress was made between the two parties. This means that spring training will likely be delayed until after the new CBA has been signed.
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