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MLB lockout latest: Update on Spring Training delays and the chasm between the owners and MLBPA

Home » MLB » MLB lockout latest: Update on baseball’s CBA negotiations

According to the MLB lockout latest, it’s highly unlikely that Spring Training will start on schedule, regardless of what Commissioner Robert Manfred would want to make you think.

For the first time in the history of MLB lockouts, it seems like the players finally have enough leverage to make a change. Team owners and the Commissioner continue to submit new proposals but to no avail, as the MLBPA refuses to cave in and settle for less of what they want.

This self-imposed disaster was foreseen for years. The MLB CBA negotiations were expected to set a precedent for years to come, and the players continue to stand their ground in their attempt to give their future colleagues more control and a fairer payment timeline.

MLB lockout latest

Per Joon Lee of ESPN, the MLB Players Association was ‘unimpressed’ by the league’s new proposal. They’re reportedly operating on ‘different paradigms’ and look far away when it comes to reaching an agreement on core economic issues.

“The MLBPA is arguing that how the baseball’s economy operates fundamentally doesn’t work while MLB is trying to address those concerns by saying that adding an expanded playoffs and a universal DH creates more job ms and leads to more money for players. The gap is enormous,” reported Lee.


The Commissioner refuses to delay Spring Training

Spring Training games were expected to begin in the last week of February, meaning players had to report in the next few days. Nonetheless, the status of the lockout makes this look like a distant possibility. That’s especially given the fact that free agency transactions continue on hold.

Even so, Commissioner Robert Manfred has reportedly refused to officially postpone the start of Spring Training. Minor League camps are still open, yet Manfred assured that teams wouldn’t use minor leaguers as replacements for Spring Training Games. Moreover, Manfred also said that they would need at least four weeks of Spring Training before the start of the season, so chances are that they’ll have to make plenty of adjustments to the calendar.

What’s the league proposing?

According to Evan Drellich of The Athletic, team owners did agree to increase the pre-arbitration bonus pool. However, the gap between what they offered and what the MLBPA wants is still massive:

“The league proposed a $5 million increase to the pre-arbitration bonus pool, upping it to $15 million. The union most recently proposed $100 million, leaving still a major gap,” read the report.

“MLB raised the luxury-tax thresholds by $2 million in the final three years. They would now progress as $214 million, $214 million, $216 million, $218 million and $222 million. Previously, they were: $214 million, $214 million, $214 million, $216 million and $220 million.”


There’s still optimism on Manfred’s side

Team owners and the MLBPA scheduled another negotiation session for Saturday, February 19, in which the Commissioner states MLB will make new proposals to try and close the gap between both parties. Also, he reaffirmed his optimism on getting a deal done before being forced to delay Spring Training:

“You’re always one breakthrough away from making an agreement,’’ Manfred said, per USA Today.

“Somebody makes a move. That’s why we will make additional moves on Saturday. …We’re going to make a good-faith positive proposal in an effort to move the process forward.’’

The players have most of the leverage right now. It seems like it’s just a matter of time before Major League Baseball caves. And, while team owners won’t concede everything the MLBPA is asking for, this CBA could set a precedent and drive competitiveness up a notch by imposing a salary floor. Hopefully, we’ll get positive updates sooner rather than later.

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