MLB owner Rob Manfred, the owners’ top representative, spoke to the media Thursday and said the league was ready to put a competitive bid on the board for the union.
However, he failed to go into specifics other than officially agreeing to the universal designated hitter rule and eliminating draft pick netting.
All we know is that crucial economic issues will be discussed at Saturday’s meeting, which will likely include minimum wage, competitive payroll tax, bonus pool for young major leaguers, and more.
Rob Manfred said spring training is not delayed at this time. So at least there is that. The CBA’s bargaining meeting is approaching Saturday.
— Matthew Moreno (@MMoreno1015) February 10, 2022
Fans are starting to worry as the start of spring training is in serious jeopardy: training camps were due to open in a few days and the first games are scheduled for February 26.
Will there be a deal in time so as not to delay the start of the season?
Manfred remains hopeful that it will.
MLB thinks spring training could start soon after reaching agreement
He said that once a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) is reached, spring training could begin relatively quickly, in less than a week, to be precise.
Rob Manfred says he expects that once a CBA is achieved (whenever it is), it would take less than a week to start spring training
— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) February 10, 2022
A normal spring training lasts about a month and a half, maybe a little less.
In theory, it could still be a few days before the situation reaches critical stages, provided there can be a relatively quick agreement, of course.
Manfred, judging by his tone and the sense of urgency he showed on Thursday, seems eager to finally reach an agreement, which is good, but paints a bad picture for the league.
That’s good because there is, at least among the fans, an optimistic environment ahead of Saturday, which is the day of the so-called “good” offer the owners will present to the players.
But one can’t help but think of the pain and suffering each party involved would have avoided had Manfred and the owners shown this urgency much sooner.
Why is he suddenly so willing to push the negotiations forward?
Was he expecting the players to move now? It’s impossible to know for sure, but the answer is probably yes.
When the real danger of delaying spring training and losing games hit the scene, the owners seem a little more eager to really negotiate.
That is, of course, whether the offer they present on Saturday is truly competitive: that will be up to the players to determine.
They have a handful of days to agree before jeopardizing the start of the season
Logic dictates that both parties have about a week to finalize a deal if they want to get things started on schedule.
Given the state of progress of the respective positions of the two parties, it seems to them too short to conclude an agreement.
They will both be trying to find solutions anyway, so the baseball world will be watching closely for what happens on Saturday.
If players feel offended by the offer, you can be sure spring training won’t start on time.
If they at least recognize that it’s closer to what they’re looking for, then there might be hope on the horizon.
In any case, the parties reaching an agreement on Saturday seems almost impossible.
But it will be a pivotal day in the 2021-22 CBA negotiations, pivotal to the future of the 2022 season no doubt.