After last week’s fiasco, MLB and the Players Association went back to the table to continue collective bargaining agreement (CBA) talks on Monday.
The negotiation session lasted for several hours, and there were positive sensations after it finished.
However, MLB insider Jon Heyman has an important reminder for everyone involved: things are far from finished.
There is still a lot of ground to cover before claiming that there is a new CBA deal in place.
“MLB and players meet again today at 1. It’s nice they are meeting but stepping things up now would be a good idea,” Heyman tweeted on Tuesday.
MLB and players meet again today at 1. It’s nice they are meeting but stepping things up now would be a good idea.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 22, 2022
The second meeting of the week is already underway, and there is hope that both sides can make significant strides before the calendar turns to March.
If that happens, and there isn’t a deal in place, the regular season will likely be delayed: players need about four weeks to get ready in spring training, and with no deal, they aren’t allowed to return to their team’s facilities and keep stretching, running, hitting, and throwing.
It goes without saying that players aren’t allowed to use their team’s facilities because owners locked them out.
MLB, in any case, has the power to lift the lockout at any time.
That won’t happen without a new CBA deal, though, and everybody knows that.
Core Economics Issues To Solve
At the moment, core economics issues such as minimum salary, competitive balance tax (CBT) threshold and penalties, and bonus pool for outstanding pre-arbitration players remain unsolved.
Right now, there is a huge gap in the bonus money, with the league offering a $20 million pool and players asking for $115 million.
The sides are also far in minimum salary (the league’s tiered structure or the ‘flat’ $630,000 proposal didn’t move the needle for players).
They still have a few days to negotiate until the league-imposed February 28 deadline.
Will they reach a deal by then?