Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association sat down for an in-person bargaining session that lasted approximately two hours in New York on Monday, as the two sides work to create a path toward a new collective bargaining agreement.
The meeting, a source said, included “spirited dialogue” that was described as “useful,” and while the session signified some progress between the parties, there is still plenty of work for the two sides to strike a deal.
They met again on Tuesday.
There was one development on Monday, the source said, as the MLBPA withdrew its proposal to change the six-year service time eligibility for free agency. The proposal to change the free-agent eligibility would have radically altered the reserve system that has been in place for decades. The source said it was “a good thing” but noted that there is still a lot of work to do and more steps that need to be taken to reach an agreement.
Free agency was just one of three core issues for which the players have been seeking massive changes, a source said; reducing revenue sharing and expanding Super Two eligibility remain two issues the players are pursuing, though those have been non-starters for the league.
Monday’s meeting marked the second bargaining session in 11 days, as MLB made some proposals during a Jan. 13 meeting.
Those proposals included significant increases in pay for players with two-plus years of service time, with the best players earning even more in bonuses based on performance. Ideas were also presented to address players’ concerns over issues regarding alleged service-time manipulation, incentivizing teams to include top prospects on Opening Day rosters. The players rejected those proposals on Monday.
Other issues addressed in MLB’s most recent proposals included some that are related to the players’ desire to incentivize competition: changes to the Draft order process to address concerns of alleged tanking, the expansion of the postseason and the addition of a universal designated hitter.