May 26, 2022

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MLB Insurance: Owners, offers MLBPA trade with small modifications; The luxury tax remains unaddressed during the busy week

MLB Insurance: Owners, offers MLBPA trade with small modifications;  The luxury tax remains unaddressed during the busy week

On Tuesday, MLB owners, representatives from the MLB Players Association and the league met again in Jupiter, Florida, in an effort to end the owner-enforced shutdown that brought Major League Baseball to a halt on December 2. The hearing was the second consecutive day of intense negotiations, in contrast to what was revealed immediately after the shutdown began when owners took 43 days to submit a proposal for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

The MLB said February 28 is the latest in which they can reach a deal for a new CBA agreement without delaying opening day (currently scheduled for March 31), although the MLBPA may not agree. Bargaining sessions are expected every day this week.

Monday’s meeting was the longest closed to date. The two sides reportedly met for nearly five hours, though much of that time was spent in separate rooms drafting proposals, which is common during bargaining sessions. The duration of their meeting is not as important as what was said during the meeting. In the end, MLB offered only minor tweaks to its latest proposal.

On Tuesday, it was the players’ turn to propose a new framework for the Capacity Building Agreement:

Hana Kiser from Yahoo! That players are still proposing a first-year minimum salary of $775,000 but now with an increase of $30,000 in the second and third years.

Also, Keser et al. reported that the MLB proposed a second time to bring in a federal mediator to advance discussions, and players declined a second time based on their preference to continue direct negotiations with the league:

Tuesday’s batch of players’ proposals came in response to what the owners submitted on Monday. Here is a summary of what the owners have reportedly offered to start the week:

  • Increase the total rewards for players before arbitration to $20 million. MLB previously offered $15 million to its top 30 players. The MLBPA is seeking a $115 million bounty to split it among the top 150 players.
  • Draft Lottery for the top four selections. MLB previously offered a lottery for only the top three picks. The association wants the top eight picks to be decided by lottery.
  • No change to the previous luxury tax proposal. MLB offers a small increase in tax with much harsher penalties. The MLBPA is seeking to raise the threshold from $210 million to $245 million. More about it here.
  • They canceled their request to control the total number of minor league teams, In addition to their offer to limit options to five times a season, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

The two sides remain far apart on what have come to be known as the “core economic issues”. These core economic issues include the minimum salary, the competitive balance tax (CBT, also known as the luxury tax on payroll), Salary Arbitration StructureAnd the The size of the total rewards for players before judgingAnd the revenue sharing. Very little negotiation has taken place over CBT, which means that it may eventually stand as the last hurdle. Owners are asking lately when it comes to CBT modification They suggest that they try to put it as an actual salary cap.

By all indications on the MLB side, the 2022 season will not resume – nor will spring training begin – until a new collective bargaining agreement is in place, at least on a conditional basis. MLB can lift the lockdown at any timeallowing baseball to resume under the terms of the old collective bargaining agreement, but the league has shown no willingness to do so.

Ivan Drillic of AthleticThe two sides will meet again on Wednesday, as expected.

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