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MLBPA delivers new proposal, labor talks expected to pick up

Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association held an in-person bargaining session in New York on Monday. In the meeting, the MLBPA delivered a counterproposal and reportedly dropped two key asks: free agency after five years and a $100 million reduction in revenue sharing.

Labor negotiations are expected to pick up. (Photo by James Black/Icon Sportswire)

A deal was not reached, but according to multiple reports, the two sides are expected to meet again on Tuesday. MLB is scheduled to make some new proposals on Tuesday, although not every issue will be covered in the next negotiation session, per Evan Drellich of The Athletic.

The union also rejected most of the league’s key economic proposals, according to The Athletic. When the two sides last met on Jan. 13, MLB proposed a performance-based system to pay players who have between two and three years of service time and draft pick compensation for teams that don’t participate in service-time manipulation of its top prospects.

In previous negotiations before the expiration of the last collective bargaining agreement, the union proposed a hybrid age and service-time based system of free agency. Starting in the 2023-24 offseason, players would be eligible for free agency with either six years of service time or five years and age 30.5. The age requirement would have dropped to 29.5 and five years or six years of service by 2025-26. That is no longer on the table, so it looks like the current requirement of six years of service time to become a free agent is here to stay.

The players association also agreed to cut their proposed reduction of revenue sharing between small and large-market teams from $100 million to $30 million, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

The union is still bargaining for all players to become arbitration-eligible after two years of service time instead of three as well as a higher luxury tax threshold ($245 million) and a higher minimum salary ($775,000 in 2022) among other issues. In previous negotiation sessions, MLB agreed to implement the universal DH and eliminate the loss of draft picks for teams who sign a qualified free agent. The union previously offered a 12-team playoff format on the condition that other MLBPA proposals are agreed upon while the league is aiming for 14 teams in the postseason.

Spring training is scheduled to open around Feb. 16. A deal would have to be reached in the first week of February to ensure that camps open up on time. March 1 has widely been citied as the deadline for a new CBA to be agreed upon for the regular season to start on time.


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