After over a week without any negotiations between the MLB and the Players Association, Commissioner Rob Manfred revealed that Saturday — Feb. 12 — would be the date of their next counter-offer. There was some hope that this offer would be significant, but it presented a much different, and more disappointing, reality.
Not only was there no traction toward a deal, the Players Association once again felt insulted by an offer that addressed little to none of their main issues. And now, it appears increasingly likely that regular season games — no just Spring Training — hang in the balance.
Both the league and the Players Association recognize the urgency of this moment, but don’t want to give too much ground in negotiations without the other side doing so first, according to Evan Drellich and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic:
Because Saturday, when MLB made its first economics proposal of February, was predictably just like everything else that preceded it. MLB made moves it thought the players should consider significant, and the players felt, again, lowballed and frustrated. Some players fear that with their counteroffers they essentially are bidding against themselves. The league says it has the same fear with its own offers to players.
Within MLB’s proposal included extremely slight moves towards the middle on issues that have truly divided the two sides more than anything else.
The owners Saturday added a small percentage of money to the competitive-balance tax thresholds, $2 million in each of the final three years of the five-year deal. But the league also maintained the monetary tax rates for exceeding those penalties: 50 percent, 75 percent and 100 percent, which are well above the current rates of 20 percent, 32 percent and 62.5 percent. So, what the owners deem as progress in this area still comes with what the players see as a step back relative to the most recent CBA.
Owners added $5 million to the bonus pool that would go to pre-arbitration players. The total now? It’s $15 million, still $85 million off the players’ most recent ask. The owners were purposeful in moving only $5 million: That’s the amount the players lopped off in their last proposal.
So with these reported details out in the open, it provides next to zero comfort that a deal will be agreed upon in time to start the 2022 season on March 31 as scheduled. Within this same report, MLB and the Players Association came to an agreement on a day they must have a CBA by in order to preserve the 2022 season.
But as things stand, both sides appear more than willing to miss some games in order to get the perfect deal. We’ll know within the next few weeks just how urgent their negotiations are.
Manfred, Miller disagree on proposal quality
The MLB Commissioner shared a short back-and-forth with MLB veteran Andrew Miller on the topic of the quality of CBA proposals. Miller argued that the owners’ proposal have fallen significantly short while Manfred believes they have been genuine in their compromise.