JUPITER, Fla. – Monday is judgment day. At least, from one point of view.
Major League Baseball’s regular season was slated to begin on March 31. But after making little progress toward a new labor agreement with the players’ union, the league has doubled its position. My mind with a threat last week and that start date seems to be in jeopardy.
MLB, that player lock on December 2, told the union on Wednesday that it was serious about the self-imposed deadline, Monday, to reach a new collective bargaining agreement to start the 162-match season as scheduled. If that deadline is not met, the league said, it will begin canceling games, failing to pay players who missed those games and failing to reschedule them.
So the world of baseball, already frozen, awaits. Will the 11th hour prompt a compromise or will the sides entrench? Will MLB abide by its ultimatum or can the league’s stance soften in the final hours ahead of schedule?
Although it took place entirely during halftime, the outage is considered the second-longest in baseball history. The longest match was the 1994-95 players offensive, which resulted in the loss of more than 900 games and the cancellation of the 1994 World Series.
Although the union opposes the MLB’s stated deadline, it made the biggest set of moves to date in these negotiations on Saturday, May 24. Spring training games are scheduled to begin. The union has significantly lowered its request to expand eligibility for wage arbitration and change its revenue-sharing system, while making adjustments in the direction of the union on luxury taxes. . The player considers it a goodwill offer.
But the MLB, which has insisted that wage arbitration and revenue sharing are the topics of third rail, and therefore any changes to them are not concessions, argues that the union has not gone far enough in his proposal on Saturday. And when their negotiating team conveyed that sentiment, the players were furious.
An unnamed union official said the sensitive nature of the negotiations, said the players’ side is considering severing negotiations. But on Saturday night, the official said the two sides would indeed meet again on Sunday afternoon.
And so the cycle continued. Even if both sides express some optimism on Friday on an issue – setting up a draft lottery for a handful of top picks in the annual amateur league, for the first time in MLB history – the union felt differently a day later .
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In its deal proposal on Saturday, MLB tied the draft lottery results for the top six picks in the draft – a number close to the players’ original claim of eight – with a field after the season of 14 teams. However, the federation has agreed to expand the knockout round to 12 teams, from the current 10.
MLB also incorporated players’ concerns about manipulating service time, but tied that issue with another change they wanted – the ability to easily make rule changes on the field, which was previously possible. This requires union consent or can be done unilaterally with one year’s notice. The accompanying carrot was suggested for that concession: The League would round out a year of service to whichever player finished first or second in the election for the Rookie of the Year Award.
Despite some small moves on Saturday’s luxury tax system – the MLB eased some of the more nasty taxes, while the union eased some of the higher thresholds – the parties remained far apart.
They are also segregated on the league’s minimum wage ($640,000 versus $775,000), a bonus for top players who aren’t yet eligible for referee salaries ($20 million for 30). play versus $115 million for 150 players), revenue sharing, and salary expansion for referees.
In other words: There’s a lot of ground to settle before the MLB deadline on Monday. Earlier this month, Rob Manfred, MLB commissioner, said losing regular season games would be “disastrous“For the industry. Would Manfred, who was hired by the owner but tasked with managing the game, cancel the game after saying it would harm everyone?
While the top players have been awarded record contracts in Lately yearconsists of out of seasonprior to the cut-off, the players were frustrated that their average salary of around $4 million had stagnated and failed to keep up with the team’s revenue.
They also sought other changes, such as an earlier claim for compensation younger players (cheaper and more reliant)improve competition between teams, limit manipulation of service time and spend more.
This process is not expected to be easy. The expired labor agreement is considered to have tipped the balance in favor of the owners. Thus, when one party wants to make significant changes to the system – the players – negotiating can be laborious, stressful, and arduous.
However, the federation believes the players have a fair system without a hard salary cap and sees it as a matter of wealth distribution – that the star players command more than the others unjustly. symmetrical. While the owners listened to the union and came up with ways to pay more young players, they also suggested several ways to generate more revenue to pay for it (such as extended knockout) and some methods to limit spending elsewhere (such as their stricter luxury tax model).
(As a counterweight to the MLB’s threat of deadlines, the players had previously made their own threats in these labor negotiations: They told the union they were reluctant to grant the contracts. Club owners an extended knockout – worth an estimated $100 million annually – if games and money are taken from them.)
Why MLB chose Monday as the deadline: They believe the minimum spring training length is four weeks – two weeks shorter than usual – should be avoided trauma spike like the regular pre-season game that shortens the pandemic’s 60-game run of 2020. To have players and staff in Arizona and Florida begin spring training on Thursday, the league said. , a new deal will be agreed on Monday.
Among the reasons unions struggled on that deadline: In 1990, 32 days course Spring training is cut in half, but the full schedule of regular-season games is played, starting a week later than usual. And last year, because of the pandemic, MLB offered to pay full money for a 154-game season that started a month late and included doubles, which the players refused.
Realizing the increased urgency, the negotiating teams for the MLB and the league – plus three club owners and a dozen players – gathered in Jupiter, Fla., all last week, starting at last Monday. The talks have generated a lot of discussion, growing progress, and many questions about what will happen next.
Based on base salaries, which totaled just over $3.8 billion last season, players will combined lose $20.5 million for each day that wipes out the regular season’s 186-day schedule, according to the report. calculation of Related press.
How much the owners will lose, though, is murky. But they’re billionaires, so loss of income shouldn’t be a concern. In a rare look at the financial numbers of a successful team, the Atlanta Braves won the World Series – the only MLB club owned by a publicly traded company – reported $104 million profit in 2021.
The second is expected to provide some answers.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/27/sports/baseball/mlb-lockout-deadline.html MLB and Union are still far apart on New Year’s Eve