Leagues and Governing Bodies

MLB Lockout, Day 36: League working on proposals to put forward

MLB and MLBPA exhibiting same habits as during disastrous '20 talks that led to Commissioner Rob Manfred implementing 60-game seasonGETTY IMAGES

The fallout of the failed discussions "remains unresolved" during MLB's lockout, and the union now believes it is the league's turn to make an offer as they are "working on proposals to bring to the table," according to sources cited by Jeff Passan of The lack of urgency is the “cause for most concern” among various sources throughout baseball. That the two parties have fallen into the same habits they exhibited during the “disastrous back-and-forth” that ended with MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred implementing a 60-game season in ‘20 has "done little to foster optimism.” These discussions are "significantly more complicated” than the COVID-19-shortened season. Players are asking for "earlier free agency, earlier arbitration, a rejiggered draft system, more money going to younger players, a higher minimum salary, less revenue sharing and a higher luxury tax threshold, among other things." These are “major changes,” but not necessarily “paradigm-shifting ones.” It may be too early to call CBT discussions the “bellwether of a deal,” but even the most vociferous union members acknowledge the MLBPA's suite of asks “will not be met.” So discussions are likeliest to “move forward” when the players rank their importance. Ownership-level sources said that that was the “goal of attempting to narrow discussions” during the Dec. 1 meeting (, 1/5).

TICKING TIME BOMB: In Chicago, Scot Gregor writes MLB came to a “screeching halt” during the final days of spring training in '20 due to the pandemic, and "sorry to say -- baseball is heading for a much bigger disaster” this time around. Spring training is supposed to start in six weeks, so there is still some time for the owners and players to “strike a bargain.” But they need to “start talking soon” (Chicago DAILY HERALD, 1/5).

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