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Locked-out baseball players and team owners were meeting for the second straight day on Tuesday in a bid to reach an agreement that would save Opening Day on March 31.
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Talks on the 83rd day of the second-longest work stoppage in baseball history marked only the second time since the lockout began that negotiations over core economic issues have taken place on consecutive days. The parties also met on January 24 and 25.
MLB told the union a deal was needed by Monday for the season to start on time. Players haven’t said if they accept that as a deadline.
Negotiations moved this week from New York to Roger Dean Stadium, the spring training home of the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals.
On Monday, MLB increased its offer of a bonus pool for pre-arbitration players from $5 million to $20 million, increased its proposal from three to four for teams participating in an amateur draft lottery and dropped its request for flexibility to reduce domestic minor league contracts with a plan to limit optional assignments to five per player each season.
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The union wants a $115 million bonus pool, eight teams in a draw and a maximum of four optional assignments.
Players and teams are far apart on luxury thresholds and tax rates. The teams told the union they would not increase salary arbitration eligibility, decrease revenue sharing or add new methods for players to accrue service time, which , according to players, is necessary to prevent teams from retaining players to delay free agency.