Report: 'Very Little Progress' Made in MLB CBA Talks; MLBPA 'Unimpressed' by Proposal

Adam WellsFebruary 12, 2022

ORLANDO, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 10: Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred answers questions during an MLB owner's meeting at the Waldorf Astoria on February 10, 2022 in Orlando, Florida. Manfred addressed the ongoing lockout of players, which owners put in place after the league's collective bargaining agreement ended on December 1, 2021. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Major League Baseball's latest proposal to the MLB Players Association for a new collective bargaining agreement didn't result in a deal. 

Per ESPN's Joon Lee, the sides ended Saturday's meeting in less than an hour.

Lee noted the MLBPA left the meeting "unimpressed by the offer from the league" and said there was "very little progress made between the two sides in negotiations."

An agreement wasn't expected to happen during Saturday's meeting, but there was hope the sides would at least make significant progress.

Saturday marked the first in-person meeting between the owners and union since Feb. 1. The Athletic's Evan Drellich described that session as "heated" and wrote the sides were still "very far apart" in their talks. 

Drellich noted Saturday the updated proposal from the owners included increasing the pre-arbitration bonus pool from $10 million to $15 million and "slight increases" to the competitive-balance tax threshold and no changes to the tax rates. 

Evan Drellich @EvanDrellich

As part of MLB’s CBT proposal, thresholds go to: $214m, $214m, $216m, $218m, $222m.<br><br>(Previously: 214, 214, 214, 216, 220)

Per ESPN's Jeff Passan, MLBPA's proposals have included at least a $100 million bonus pool for pre-arbitration players. 

Following a Jan. 24 meeting, Sports Illustrated's Chris Halicke reported the union proposed raising the CBT threshold to $245 million with "fewer, less severe penalties" for teams that go over the amount.

According to Passan, the tax rate for teams with a payroll over $210 million was 20 percent, 32 percent at $230 million and 62.5 percent at $250 million.

Per Spotrac, the Los Angeles Dodgers were the only MLB team that exceeded the tax threshold in 2021 with a payroll of $271.2 million. The New York Yankees ($205.7 million) and New York Mets ($201.2 million) were the only other clubs with a payroll of at least $200 million. 

Speaking to reporters after the owners meetings Thursday, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said the new proposal was designed to create "flexibility on the other side and what seemed like a big gap on this topic or that topic isn't such a big gap anymore."  

Manfred also called the potential loss of regular-season games "a disastrous outcome" for the sport and said they were "committed to making an agreement in an effort to avoid that."

The minimal changes to the CBA proposal suggest owners don't feel a sense of urgency to get a deal done. 

Spring training was all but certain to be delayed, barring an agreement Saturday. Workouts for pitchers and catchers are scheduled to start Feb. 17, with spring-training games scheduled to begin Feb. 26. 

During the same press conference from Thursday, Manfred said he believes a four-week spring training is necessary. 

The regular season is scheduled to begin with all 30 teams playing on March 31. If that four-week time frame holds, players would need to be in camp by March 3. 

MLB hasn't had games canceled because of a work stoppage since 1995 due to the player strike.