Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association returned to the bargaining table on Monday.
Unlike last week’s meeting, which took place on a Zoom call, Monday’s meeting was held in person in New York.
The league offered proposals last week which, according to officials, were aimed at creating a path to a deal. The MLBPA was expected to counter with some ideas of its own during Monday’s meeting.
MLB’s most recent 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, which would incentivize teams to include top prospects on Opening Day rosters.
Other issues addressed in MLB’s most recent proposals included items 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.
Last Thursday marked the first time since the lockout began on Dec. 2 that the two sides had discussed any core economic issues.
According to league sources, the union is seeking substantial changes to the sport’s economic system, including three core components that have been part of the CBA for decades: six-year free agency, expanding Super-Two eligibility and reducing revenue sharing. The league has been clear that while it is open to addressing players’ concerns, those three issues are non-starters.
MLB’s proposals prior to the lockout included a number of concessions to players, including an NBA-style Draft lottery, a universal DH, an increase to the minimum player salary, an increase in the CBT (competitive balance tax) threshold and the elimination of the qualifying offer system, which would remove Draft-pick compensation from all free agents.
MLB had also offered a 14-team postseason format in a proposal that would have increased the CBT threshold from $210 million to $214 million, rising to $220 million over time. The union’s most recent proposal prior to the lockout called for a $245 million CBT threshold and an expanded postseason format that included 12 teams.