MLB receives latest union proposal; talks continue Friday

February 25th, 2022

Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association met for a fourth straight day of bargaining talks on Thursday in Jupiter, Fla., though the union returned to the table with only a pair of incremental tweaks to its prior proposals.

The two areas addressed were the Draft lottery and service time manipulation, as the MLBPA’s stance on larger issues such as Super 2 eligibility, the pre-arbitration bonus pool, the competitive balance tax and revenue sharing remained the same.

The MLBPA’s adjustment in its Draft lottery proposal involved the reduction in penalties for small-market teams that finish in the lottery in consecutive seasons, though the union is still asking for the top seven picks to be chosen in the NBA-style lottery.

MLB has offered a system in which the top four picks would be chosen via lottery, the same number used by the NBA and twice as many as the NHL’s system.

The other change in the union’s proposal Thursday involved the potential rewarding of a full year of service time to rookies based on their finish in awards voting and/or placement on year-end WAR leaderboards for their respective positions.

The prior proposal had rookies receiving a full year of service for finishing in the top seven (for catchers, infielders and designated hitters) or top 20 (for outfielders, starting pitchers and relief pitchers). Thursday’s proposal reduced those to top five and top 15, respectively.

MLB has set a Monday deadline for a deal to be completed in order for Opening Day to take place on March 31 as scheduled. The league has said that once games are canceled -- which will happen unless a deal can be struck by Monday’s deadline -- they will not be rescheduled.

The two sides will resume talks on Friday at Roger Dean Stadium, the fifth straight day of meetings.