MLB Lockout: It’s the deadline day to save Opening Day, 162-game regular season

JUPITER, Fla. — Major League Baseball negotiations to end the lockdown are stretching to the limit.

Management says a deal must be reached by the end of Monday’s negotiations to salvage a March 31 regular season start and 162-game schedule.

With that in mind, the parties are to meet from 10 a.m., three hours earlier than usual. It will be the eighth straight day of talks at Roger Dean Stadium, the vacant spring training home of the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals.

The lockout is in its 89th day. MLB hasn’t set an exact time on the deadline, leading to the possibility that bargaining sessions will stretch into the wee hours if both sides see a deal within reach.

The camps were still far away, but the pressure is increasing. Players would lose $20.5 million in salary for each canceled day of the season, according to an Associated Press study, and the 30 teams would lose significant sums that are harder to pinpoint.

Monday was chosen as the deadline because MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said at least 28 days of practice are needed before the season begins. The union hasn’t said whether it agrees, and baseball has shortened spring training to as little as three weeks in the past.

Baseball’s ninth work stoppage began Dec. 2. Spring training games were scheduled to start on Saturday and have already been canceled until March 7.

Only three players attended the talks on Sunday: Max Scherzer, Andrew Miller and Marcus Semien. Scherzer left the stadium before negotiations broke down for the night.

Players and owners did not meet directly.

Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem phoned the union’s chief negotiator Bruce Meyer on Sunday morning and requested an individual session in place of the larger group meeting scheduled.

This began a series of four short meetings characterized as an exchange of ideas that gave the union and MLB a better sense of the trade-offs that would have to be made to reach the end point of bargaining that began last spring and resulted in the sport’s first work stoppage since 1995.

Players and teams enter deadline day far apart on many key issues and unresolved on others. The most controversial proposals relate to luxury tax thresholds and rates, the size of a new bonus pool for pre-arbitration players, minimum wages, eligibility for salary arbitration and the willingness of the union to change the club’s revenue sharing formula.

Additionally, MLB has tied the elimination of direct free agent compensation to players accepting higher luxury tax rates and still wants to expand the playoffs to 14 teams rather than the union’s preference for 12. MLB also retained its proposal from an international amateur. draft on the table.

Not since August 30, 2002, has MLB been so close to losing regular season games to a labor dispute. The union was due to strike at 3:20 p.m., but about 25 consecutive hours of meetings and huddles culminated in an agreement at 11:45 a.m.

The negotiation hasn’t had that kind of frequency this year, but has gained momentum since the talks moved from New York to Florida last week.

MLB is proposing to raise the luxury tax threshold from $210 million last season to $214 million this year, bringing it to $220 million by 2026. Teams also want higher tax rates high, which the union says would tend to act as a salary cap.

Players requested a $245 million threshold this year, rising to $273 million by last season.

The union wants to expand arbitration to include the top 35% by length of service of players with at least two major league service seasons and less than three, up from the 22% threshold in place since 2013.

The union has proposed that the pre-arbitration pool have $115 million distributed among 150 players, and management wants $20 million to be distributed among 30.


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