MLBPA makes new offer, but sides remain far apart

March 7th, 2022

The MLB Players Association delivered its latest proposal to Major League Baseball on Sunday, as the two sides met in New York City for roughly 90 minutes.

The union lowered its ask for a pre-arbitration bonus pool from $85 million to $80 million, a source said, though there was no change in its proposal for the competitive balance tax.

MLB has offered a CBT threshold beginning at $220 million, increasing to $230 million by the final year of a new CBA. The MLBPA’s proposal would begin with a $238 million threshold, rising to $263 million by year five.

According to the source, the union agreed to the implementation of non-monetary penalties for clubs that exceed the CBT threshold if the qualifying offer system is eliminated. MLB has offered to eliminate that system in multiple offers, taking away Draft-pick compensation for free agents.

The MLBPA also proposed to implement three specific on-field rules changes beginning in 2023 with 45 days of notice: a pitch clock, a ban on infield shifting and larger bases. The league has also been seeking to add an automated strike zone, though the union has not agreed to that to this point.

As for the Draft lottery, the sides remain one pick apart, with MLB offering a system to award the top five selections and the MLBPA seeking the top six picks.

“We were hoping to see some movement in our direction to give us additional flexibility and get a deal done quickly,” said MLB spokesperson Glen Caplin. “The Players Association chose to come back to us with a proposal that was worse than Monday night and was not designed to move the process forward. On some issues, they even went backwards.

“Simply put, we are deadlocked. We will try to figure out how to respond but nothing in this proposal makes it easy.”

MLB’s most recent offer came on Tuesday while the sides were meeting in Jupiter, Fla., a proposal that included a significant increase in minimum salary (from $570,500 to $700,000), a $30 million pre-arbitration bonus pool, an item on fighting alleged service-time manipulation, a limit on how many times a player can be optioned each season and an additional $23 million in amateur spending per year.

Expanded postseason has also been an issue; the league is seeking a 14-team field, though the union prefers 12. MLB’s most recent offer included different financial parameters for both formats.

No further meetings between the two sides are currently scheduled.