After removing the international draft from collective bargaining agreement (CBA) negotiations, MLB and the Players Association seem to be on the fast track to finalizing a deal, barring some unexpected circumstances.
Since “unexpected circumstances” have become somewhat expected at this point, we can’t quite feel victorious yet.
We all are, however, cautiously optimistic about the possibility of a deal.
The union was expecting a counteroffer from the league on Thursday, and it finally came in the afternoon.
“Latest MLB proposal, per source: Luxury-tax thresholds – $230M to $244M over course of five-year deal. (increase of $2M in final year from last offer) Pre-arb pool: $50M (increase of $10M) Minimum salaries, $700K to $780K. (increase of $10K in final year) 3 p.m. “deadline,” MLB insider Ken Rosenthal detailed on Thursday.
Latest MLB proposal, per source:
Luxury-tax thresholds – $230M to $244M over course of five-year deal. (increase of $2M in final year from last offer)
Pre-arb pool: $50M (increase of $10M)
Minimum salaries, $700K to $780K. (increase of $10K in final year)
3 p.m. “deadline.”
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 10, 2022
The Gap Is Getting Smaller
The Players Association is currently at $65 million in their pre-arbitration bonus pool offer to players who earn it with their performance, but the league wants a flat amount and the union wants it to slowly increment during the life of the CBA deal, which runs until 2026.
That pre-arbitration bonus pool seems to be the most important roadblock at this point: the competitive balance tax (CBT, or luxury tax) has seen some major movement by the league in the last couple of days, and the gap right now is actually not that big.
An important thing still needs to be decided: what forms of spending count in the CBT calculation, since the league wants to deduct the pre-arbitration bonus pool from that amount.
So far, the sides are yet to fully agree on any of the core economic issues, but they are close enough that a deal is within the range of potential outcomes before the end of the week, perhaps as soon as today.