Negotiations between MLB and the Players Association for a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) are starting to get ugly and hard to watch.
Not only do teams barely talk, but when they do, discussions usually go nowhere: the league is stubborn and unwilling to meet, or at least come close to, player demands.
That’s why if the parties agree a deal at Thursday’s meeting, it would be nothing short of a miracle.
USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported that the meeting would take place today.
MLB and the players’ union have scheduled a negotiation session on Thursday
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) February 16, 2022
He called it a “negotiating session,” so it will likely include MLB players’ response to the owners’ latest offer, which arrived Saturday.
Over the weekend, the league proposed raising the minimum wage to $630,000 (from $570,500) on a lump sum, or tiered system that would begin, according to Evan Drellich of The Athletic, at $615,000 for 0-1 time of service, $650,000 for 1-2 years and $725,000 for 2-3 years.
On the league’s minimum wage, MLB made two proposals. One for a flat fee of $630,000 (and teams could pay more if they wish).
Or tiered proposal with increase in 3rd year: now $615,000 for 0-1 time of service, $650,000 for 1-2 years, $725,000 for 2-3 years. The increase is in 2-3: 700,000 previously
— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) February 12, 2022
Players have a lot of problems with the Competitive Balance Tax
However, players are more disappointed with the Competitive Balance Tax (CBT) at the moment.
The owners have only offered a slight increase in CBT, starting with a threshold of $214 million (it’s currently $210 million), but they want stiff penalties for those who exceed that amount, and the union strongly opposes it.
Players believe that if the penalties are too severe, it won’t help at all as teams would be very hesitant to go over the threshold, acting more like a hard cap.
Seeing how big the gap between the two sides is and with myriad other topics to cover and agree on, a deal today seems overly optimistic.
But there is room for miracles in baseball, isn’t there?