For the past week, MLB and the Players Association have attempted to put a new Collective Bargaining Agreement in place with daily negotiations. The urgency for this came from a Feb. 28 deadline imposed by the league.
Essentially, MLB threatened that if a deal was not in place by Monday, they would begin cancelling games without pay for players. It wasn’t clear just how serious this threat was, but the union responded accordingly by putting together comprehensive CBA proposals.
Those proposals were rejected outright by MLB, as the owners showed a complete unwillingness to move off of their rigid stances. And on Monday, with the deadline looming, they reportedly took a harsh tone on game cancellations, according to Evan Drellich of The Athletic:
MLB today indicated a willingness to miss a month of games and took a more threatening tone than yesterday, sources briefed on the day’s first meeting between MLB and the Players Association tell me, @Ken_Rosenthal and @FabianArdaya. Full context of conversation not yet known.
— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) February 28, 2022
Of course, this could just be more media posturing in an attempt to pressure the union into making a bad deal. But at this point, it feels nearly impossible for a deal to get done today without massive concessions from the Players Association.
The league has shown a complete lack of care for the players and for the game of baseball. Openly stating a willingness to cancel a full month of games is — for all intents and purposes — a public declaration that saving some money is more important than the sport itself. It also states that owners are willing to let players suffer without a paycheck while they continue to hold their billions.
This shouldn’t be surprising to anyone who has closely followed these negotiations. However, to see it be stated so boldly serves as a new low for MLB.
Over the next 24 hours, we will see how this harsh tone shift affects the union and their stances. At this point, they have minimal reason to let the owners win if game cancellations are already in the works.
MLB turns back of qualifying offer agreement
After already agreeing to get rid of the qualifying offer in MLB free agency, the league reportedly reneged on this. Now, their stance is that they will only grant the end of the qualifying offer if the Players Association concedes on a number of other topics.