Negotiations between MLB and the players’ union for a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) have turned ugly again, after the league imposed a new deadline to players to get a deal done.
What started as cordial conversations at the beginning of the week turned, once again, into resentment and anger when players found out that the “proposed” February 28 deadline to finish the CBA was actually an imposition by the league.
Yes, the league says that if there isn’t a new CBA by Monday, games would be lost and payment won’t be recouped.
That has to be a negotiation strategy to put some pressure, because there are ways to make up for lost games (depending on the number of games, of course).
For example, the sides did it in 2020, in the pandemic season: lots of doubleheaders were played.
There Is Too Much Work To Be Done To Hope For A Quick Deal
The worst of all is that there isn’t enough time to make up for the enormous ground there is to cover.
Of course players would love to have a deal done by Monday, get ready, and report to spring training in no time.
They won’t rush into anything, though: they won’t sign the deal just for the sake of signing it and ending the current feud.
There is a lot of work to be done, though.
ESPN insider Jeff Passan explained exactly how far the two sides currently are from one another.
“Five days before the deadline MLB says will postpone regular-season games, here’s the gap between the sides in their latest proposals: CBT: $31M; Pre-arb bonus pool: $95M; Minimum salary: $135K/player; Draft lottery: 3 picks. That’s a lot to cover in less than a week. Like, a lot,” he tweeted.
Five days before the deadline MLB says will postpone regular-season games, here's the gap between the sides in their latest proposals:
Pre-arb bonus pool: $95M
Minimum salary: $135K/player
Draft lottery: 3 picks
That's a lot to cover in less than a week. Like, a lot.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 23, 2022
For example, just to have an idea, the gap in the bonus pool for pre-arbitration players was $105 million a couple of weeks ago.
In several days, they have only lowered it by $10 million.
They haven’t even had real talks about the CBT yet.
In conclusion: a deal is definitely not close.