MLB team owners gathered in Orlando earlier this month after recent collective bargaining agreement (CBA) negotiations with the Players Association proved futile.
Commissioner Rob Manfred held a press conference at the end of the meetings and kept a positive attitude, revealing that the league planned to make a “good faith” proposal to the union. It ended up being overkill and an offer that didn’t appeal to the Players Association (MLBPA).
At the time, Manfred was optimistic that meaningful progress would be made and opted not to announce a postponement of the start of 2022 spring training. Spring training will no longer begin until Tuesday, March 8 at the earliest.
While losing exhibition games isn’t necessarily the worst-case scenario, Manfred is focused on getting a new CBA in place as soon as possible to ensure the regular season starts on time, via MLB Network:
“If I didn’t consider what it would mean to miss games, I wouldn’t be doing my job. Of course I pay attention to that. I see missing games as a disastrous outcome for this industry. We undertake to conclude an agreement in order to avoid this.
Manfred’s comments came two weeks after MLB Assistant Commissioner Dan Halem reportedly said in a meeting with the union that the league was prepared to lose games because of some of the pending economic issues. MLB then doubled its Feb. 28 deadline and said canceled games would not be rescheduled.
Then on Monday, the league reportedly relayed team owners willing to cancel the first month of the regular season.
Although the parties remain divided on several issues, Manfred noted during his press conference that they agreed on the implementation of a designated hitter in the National League, the increase in minimum wages, the pool pre-arbitration bonuses, the draft lottery and the elimination of draft pick compensation. which attaches to free agents through a qualifying offer.
Of course, there are significant differences to overcome in this framework, especially with the MLBPA seeking a minimum salary of $775,000 and a bonus pool of $115 million for pre-arbitration players. So far, MLB has countered to a minimum of $640,000, a bonus pool of $20 million, respectively.
MLB reportedly not testing steroids during lockdown
When MLB team owners voted to impose a lockout in early December, all Major League player activity was halted, meaning free agent signings, trades and requests for waivers are not permitted.
Another loss caused by work stoppage is drug testing. The league has reportedly stopped testing players for steroids – a first in two decades – due to the CBA expiration.
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