Earlier in the week, CBA negotiations finally looked like they had significant progress. That was until MLB pulled the wool over the eyes of the Players Association, demanding the implementation of an international draft.
This was not something that had been discussed prior. Or, at least, not with the same urgency that MLB showed this week. Not only did they demand an international draft, they used the elimination of the qualifying offer and draft-pick compensation to get the players to agree to it.
The big issue with this is that — in the mind of the union — MLB had already agreed to eliminate the qualifying offer weeks before. So they went backwards in an attempt to get their draft, and cancelled two more series when the union did not agree.
On Thursday morning, the two sides met again to discuss what a draft might look like, ultimately coming to a reported agreement to continue negotiating over time, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic:
Parties agree to negotiate over an international draft, per union source. The parties have until July 25 to reach a deal on an international draft starting in 2024.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 10, 2022
Reportedly, the two sides will continue to negotiate an international draft until July 25 of this year. If a draft — that would begin in 2024 — is agreed to, the qualifying offer and draft-pick compensation would be eliminated.
If the MLBPA opts against a draft and a deal cannot be made before July 25, the qualifying offer system would remain as is.
This was actually what MLB offered to the union on Tuesday, prior to the game-cancellation deadline. At the time, the players declined, as they felt it was unfair to bring the qualifying offer back into play. But when the league proved to be serious about an international draft, they went back and agreed to the league’s previous terms, at which point MLB declined because it was after the deadline they had set.
Regardless of the frustrating circumstances of this agreement, it crosses a huge hurdle towards a new CBA. Now, there is hope that a deal could be agreed to by the end of Thursday.
Two more series cancelled
While MLB could always change course the way they have multiple times already, it appears the first four series of the 2022 season have been cancelled. Opening Day is now April 14 — for the moment — with the Los Angeles Angels’ first four series nixed.