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MLB’s preferred deadline for new CBA to start regular season on time revealed

To ensure an on-time start to the 2022 regular season, MLB informed the MLBPA that a new collective bargaining agreement must be agreed upon by Feb. 28, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

It’s not exactly a hard deadline; the union could argue that the two sides have a small amount of time after Feb. 28 to strike a deal and get players in camps quick enough to get ready to start on March 31. If negotiations stretch into the end of the first week of March, however, it’s safe to assume that Opening Day will be delayed.

MLB imposed a lockout on its players in December. (Photo by James Black/Icon Sportswire)

The good news is that both sides are reportedly planning to hold multiple bargaining sessions next week and could hold daily meetings beginning as early as Monday leading to the Feb. 28 deadline, per Jeff Passan of ESPN. The two sides are meeting Friday to discuss non core economic issues.

During Thursday’s bargaining session between the owners and players, the MLBPA backed off its request to make all players with at least two years of service time eligible for arbitration. Instead, the players are requesting to expand the existing “Super Two” class, which are a percentage of players between two and three years of service time that become eligible for arbitration, from 22% to 80%. In the previous agreement, the “Super Two” class along with all players between three and six years of service time are eligible for salary arbitration.

Along those lines, the MLBPA also requested to increase the proposed bonus pool for players from $100 to $115 million to account for an increase in the amount players who are eligible to receive money from the pool.

The two sides did not discuss other core economic issues such as the competitive balance tax, minimum salary and revenue sharing. Those subjects are likely to come up next week when the two sides begin cramming in an attempt to come to an agreement.

Major league players and minor leaguers on the 40-man roster are locked out of spring training, but Phillies minor league minicamp opened earlier this week in Clearwater. Among notable top prospects in attendance are Mick Abel, Andrew Painter, Griff McGarry and Bryson Stott.

Update 2:15 pm ET: MLB has formally announced that all scheduled spring training games up until March 5 have been canceled. MLB and the MLBPA are now scheduled to meet every day next week to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement. All fans with tickets to games scheduled through March 5 are entitled to a full refund.


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