Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations between MLB and the Players Association has crawled at a snail’s pace through the first seven weeks of the lockout. It wasn’t until last week that the two sides had an official first meeting, when MLB submitted a proposal to the players.
It was almost immediately shot down, as it failed to address some of the issues most important to the Players Association. It felt as though for every concession MLB was making on the players’ behalf, they were asking for something far more valuable in exchange.
Now, the players will have a chance to make their stances clear, as they reportedly will be submitting a counteroffer in a meeting between the two sides on Monday, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN:
This would be the second meeting between the sides since MLB locked out players on Dec. 2.
This counteroffer is expected to address some of the issues that the two sides were very far apart on in the first proposal. Some of these topics include fixing service time manipulation, free agency, revenue sharing, expanded playoffs, and a draft lottery.
Now, a counteroffer is absolutely progress given where things stood just a couple weeks ago. However, the expectation of a deal being agreed to next week is essentially zero, as the players are in no rush to concede on any of their important issues.
What Monday’s proposal is meant to do is establish a base line for the two sides moving forward. With a counteroffer, the topics that both consider to be untouchable will be on the table, allowing for a more productive negotiation.
The clock continues to tick, however, as we are less than four weeks away from the originally scheduled date for pitchers and catchers to report to Spring Training.
On-field rule changes to be dealt with separately
Most likely, none of the issues that will be discussed in Monday’s offer will have anything to do with on-field rule changes. As the league was hopeful to keep those negotiations separate from talks regarding core economics, those may be tabled for a later date.