MLB fans know this is a crucial week in negotiations between owners and players for a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA).
Not only do fans know it: both MLB and the Players Association also recognize it, and we know it because they met for a second consecutive day on Tuesday.
According to an MLB insider, that’s actually quite an accomplishment.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweeted: “Today, in Jupiter, Fla., will be only the 2nd time since the #MLB lockout that MLB and the MLBPA have met on back-to-back days to discuss core economic issues. The first time was Jan. 24-25 in New York.”
Today, in Jupiter, Fla., will be only the 2nd time since the #MLB lockout that MLB and the MLBPA have met on back-to-back days to discuss core economic issues. The first time was Jan. 24-25 in New York. The union is expected to submit a counter-offer to MLB today.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) February 22, 2022
That happened almost a month ago: since that time, negotiations really stalled amid inflexible stances and rough talks (or lack thereof).
This week, however, may be the start of something good for fans.
Time Is Running Out
The league notified the union that if both sides couldn’t reach a new CBA deal by February 28 (next Monday), the start of the regular season could be compromised and would likely be pushed.
Despite rumors and speculations, no one wants that, especially players and fans: if there are no games, players don’t get paid, and fans can’t enjoy their favorite pastime.
In his tweet, Nightengale also said that “the union is expected to submit a counter-offer to MLB today.”
Perhaps negotiations could pick up if both sides didn’t have to take a full day to analyze the other party’s proposals and responses would be more “real-time”.
Time is obviously running out, and there is a lot of ground to cover in most of the core economic issues, like minimum salary, competitive balance tax threshold and penalties, anti-tanking measures, service time manipulation, and more.
The expanded playoffs are also a hot topic to be solved.
Both sides will need to work overtime to reach a deal before February 28.