One of the main roadblocks in collective bargaining agreement (CBA) talks between MLB and the Players Association is the bonus pool for outstanding young players.
In recent weeks, MLB and the union agreed on the fact that young players with 0-3 years of service time (pre-arbitration, making near the league minimum) needed to be compensated according to their performance.
That’s why they came up with a solution: the Wins Above Replacement (WAR) rankings would determine which pre-arbitration players were worthy of more compensation besides their league minimum salary.
Now, here is where the situation gets murky: owners and players are far from reaching an agreement over the details of that proposed system.
The league wants one thing, and the players want a totally different scenario.
Even Drellich of The Athletic explains the situation via Twitter: “The sides plan to meet again tomorrow. On MLB’s prearbitration bonus pool: the $20 million would go to 30 players. Union’s latest proposal distributed it to 150 players (at $115 million),” he said.
The sides plan to meet again tomorrow. On MLB’s prearbitration bonus pool: the $20 million would go to 30 players. Union’s latest proposal distributed it to 150 players (at $115 million)
— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) February 21, 2022
The Sides Are Just Too Far Apart
MLB improved its offer from $15 million to $20 million in yesterday’s bargaining session, but players are set in at $115 million.
That’s basically because the union wants to compensate more players with more money.
If the league’s will would be applied this time, the top 30 players in WAR would split $20 million.
Under the players’ proposal, 150 pre-arbitration players would be splitting $115 million.
It’s an enormous gap, and the chances of both sides narrowing it significantly are not particularly good: in a span of several weeks, the league went from $10 million to $20 million.
Since it involves money (like most of the other issues at hand), expecting a resolution in a couple of days is foolish.