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MLB Rumors: Players' Reaction to Owners' CBA Proposal 'Was Not Positive'

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 14, 2022

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

Baseball remains in a lockout after the latest round of discussions between the MLB players association and team owners.

Jeff Passan of ESPN provided the latest update on Thursday:

Jeff Passan @JeffPassan

Baseball labor update: There is no deal. There never was going to be one today. MLB made a proposal. The reaction among the players was not positive. Few on either side expected it to be. The question is how soon the MLBPA counters. Spring training starting on time is in peril.

Jon Heyman MLB Network provided more details on the offer from MLB:

Jon Heyman @JonHeyman

MLB raised pay for younger players (higher minimum salary and more money for Super 2s) in their proposal. Players union saw overall offer as “disappointing.” No word about a counter yet. Long way to go (but fortunately there’s still time)

Other proposals were also discussed in Thursday's meeting:

Susan Slusser @susanslusser

universal DH was proposed and seems ok for both sides, I'm told. unless tied to something else as a bargaining chip, almost assuredly would go through.

Ben Nicholson-Smith @bnicholsonsmith

Also heard MLB’s offer to players today included 14 teams in playoffs<br><br>That's arguably players' biggest bargaining chip: owners clearly want expanded playoffs.

MLB initiated a lockout on Dec. 2 after the two sides were unable to agree on a new collective bargaining agreement before the previous one expired.

Spring training is scheduled to begin on Feb. 26, but the latest disagreements could prevent the year from beginning on time. The regular season is currently slated to start on March 31.

There had been limited official communication between the two sides since the initial lockout, but they agreed to a videoconference meeting on Thursday. According to Evan Drellich of The Athletic, it was the first discussion focused on "core economics" since the start of December.

There had been proposals from both sides over the past month, but economics remains the biggest question mark in this holdout. One major issue is the lack of competitive balance due to payroll disparity. 

Heading into 2022, the New York Mets are projected to have a payroll of $236 million while the Cleveland Guardians rank last with a $29 million payroll, per Spotrac

While there has been no real discussion of a salary cap, the players want to see a salary floor that forces owners to put more money into their teams.

"The players see how the game's levers incentivize teams to lose," Passan and Jesse Rodgers of ESPN explained. "The low-revenue owners believe that the fewer restraints on payroll exist, the less likely they are to be competitive."

The latest update showed the two sides are seemingly still far apart on these issues.   

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