Nine consecutive days of negotiations between MLB and the Players Association weren’t enough to get a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) done.
As a result, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred already cancelled the first two series of the season for each team, and more could be on the way if the sides don’t get together and negotiate soon.
Everybody (owners, players, and media) have left Florida by now, and the meetings at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter are now done.
The sides made a lot of progress over the weekend and, especially, on Monday and Tuesday.
Is it possible for them to keep the momentum towards a deal going?
It won’t be easy, considering the sides are still millions apart in the competitive balance tax (CBT) threshold and the bonus pool for pre-arbitration players, and that there is a sizable difference in minimum salary.
MLB owners are also pushing for 14 teams in the playoffs, but players have rejected the notion.
Players Will Negotiate “Wherever”
The silver lining for fans is that players are still open to negotiating.
Ben Verlander, an MLB analyst, quoted union leader Tony Clark as saying that the players are “willing to stay here. We are willing to talk. We are willing to go wherever to keep the conversation going.”
Tony Clark: “We are willing to stay here. We are willing to talk. We are willing to go wherever to keep the conversation going”
— Ben Verlander (@BenVerlander) March 1, 2022
It’s obvious that players want to keep bargaining: the longer the sides take, the more pay they lose.
Will the owners show the same sense of urgency of the players?
Will they show the same willingness to bargain they showed on Monday and Tuesday?
We shall find out soon.
For the health of the game, the two sides better get together soon and hammer out a new deal.
This situation has to stop.