According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, negotiations between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association are scheduled to resume on Thursday. MLB is expected to deliver a core economics proposal to the union, which would mark the first time the two sides have discussed the issues that led to the owners deciding to lock out the players in early December.
MLB and the players union reportedly met before the holidays to discuss non core economic issues such as scheduling, grievance procedures and drug/domestic violence policies.
Per Nightengale, MLB is not expected to make any new proposals on salary arbitration or free agency.
Other core economic issues include draft order, service time, revenue sharing, expanded playoffs and the luxury tax. Before the last agreement in December, both sides have proposed a higher luxury tax threshold (the amount varies), a draft lottery (the number of draft choices subject to the lottery varies) and expanded postseason (the owners want seven teams in each league while the union is content with letting six teams in on the condition that other proposals are accepted). The union proposed to eliminate $100 million in revenue sharing. The league has so far declined to discuss any issues pertaining to revenue sharing. MLB also rejected the union’s proposals to combat service time manipulation.
There could be some progress made as far as minimum salary is concerned. Both sides have agreed on possibly eliminating the loss of draft picks when a team signs a qualified free agent.
It’s a good sign that the two sides are talking, but it would be surprising to see any serious momentum towards a deal following the scheduled meeting Thursday. Expect to see more movement come February as the report date for pitchers and catchers near and owners are facing a loss of some spring training related revenue.
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