After 2 months of nearly complete inactivity, the MLBPA made significant changes to their proposal which led to a glimmer of hope for all baseball fans.
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Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to start reporting early as February 17th. If MLB plans on not having any delays to Spring Training, their time to strike a new CBA with MLBPA is drastically short. Not to say that they can’t do it, anything is still possible at this point.
MLBPA leading the way to get baseball back on track
MLB proposed their plan a couple of weeks ago but made little headway in getting the season started. It looks like the MLBPA is looking to play the hero in this CBA. They are the ones that have started to ignite the negotiations. Because of that, deal has a much better chance of happening now then it did a couple days ago.
The MLBPA decided drop its push for an earlier path to major league free agency. It looks like both parties are content with keeping the 6 year minimum of MLB service time. Great progress for both sides as they both look to get the season started on time.
Revenue sharing takes a back seat in MLBPA’s latest proposal
Revenue sharing was the area that the two sides discussed. The MLBPA decided to reduce its initial proposal of cutting $100 million in profit sharing to $30 million relative to the amount in the last CBA. The reason the MLBPA wanted to cut so much profit sharing is because they believe that small-market team have been taking advantage of this.
In recent times, they have specifically called out the A’s, Marlins, Rays and Pirates. Those teams have appeared content with pocketing the profit-sharing money. They’re reluctant to utilizing it to their full capabilities in being able to field a competitive team.
Stance on earlier arbitration eligibility is clear
One issue that still presides is that the MLBPA did not show interest in changing their stance on earlier arbitration eligibility. Their proposal is to have players eligible for arbitration after 2 years of MLB service instead of 3 years. Of course, the MLBPA expectedly gave up ground on other areas in exchange for gaining grounds in other areas. This could be one of those areas where they are firm on not changing their position.
Both sides have also agreed to meet again on January 25th. A great sign that both sides are eager to strike a deal. However, this is no way is a guarantee that a deal is imminent. Talks were reported to be confrontational. With big topics yet to be covered there’s a chance talks could still go sideways. Salary minimums and competitive tax balances are still up in the air.
Playoff expansion is another area that has yet to be covered but both parties seem to the in favor of it just like the universal DH.