A second negotiating session was unsuccessful and produced no major movement. Major League Baseball is now four days away from the Monday night deadline to negotiate a deal that would save opening day and 162-game season.
Both sides appeared Thursday to be in a you-make-the-next-move staredown on central economic issue of the lockout, such as luxury tax thresholds and rates, the minimum salary and the proposed bonus pool for pre-arbitration players.
These stances suggest that the earliest movement on the major issues would be during the hours before management claims it will heed its threat to cancel games and impose a salary freeze on players.
The union was left feeling that management had run out of ideas and would accept new proposals from players on key issues. Clubs claim that the union has not changed its luxury tax plan since November. Players say they are still waiting, as management said to the union that luxury tax is usually one of the last items to be addressed.
The players also want to decrease revenue sharing and increase eligibility for salary arbitration, but the teams won’t agree to either.
Both sides agreed Friday to meet again. This will be the fifth consecutive day of bargaining, and the 11th for core economics since Dec. 2nd.
The ninth baseball work stoppage, the first since 1995, begins Friday. The only thing that could spur more aggressive bargaining is the imminent threat to economic losses.
The players haven’t accepted Monday as the deadline. They suggested that any games missed could be made up in doubleheaders, which MLB has rejected.
MLB was informed by the union that if games are not played and salaries are lost clubs shouldn’t expect players to accept management’s plans to expand the postseason or allow advertising on helmets.
Since Feb. 10, Rob Manfred, the baseball commissioner, has not made any public comments on the talks. Tony Clark, the union head since Dec. 2, has also not commented.
Players altered part of their formula to allow for more service time for top young players. This included the top 15 leagues by WAR among starting pitchers relief pitchers outfielders and outfielders, which is down from 20 and the top five other positions from seven.
According to the union, this mechanism would prevent minor league teams from holding their players to defer free agency. This was what the union claimed in a failed grievance against Kris Bryant and the Chicago Cubs. The dispute was settled by an arbitrator two-years ago. Teams refuse to agree to such a proposal.
To prevent revenue sharing, the union modified its complicated plan for a lottery to determine the top seven amateur draft picks. This would prohibit a team from receiving revenue sharing from picking among those nine top teams if it finishes among the lowest winning percentages in any of the two previous seasons. This provision would be in effect from 2024.
New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner and Houston pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. joined negotiations at Roger Dean Stadium. This is the inactive spring training facility of the Marlins, Cardinals, and Miguel Rojas.
The following players remained at the end of the week: the Yankees’ Gerrit Col and Jameson Taillon; the Mets’ Max Scherzer, Francisco Lindor and the Mets’ Max Scherzer; the Cardinals’ Paul Goldschmidt; the Chicago Cubs’ Ian Happ; the Brewers’ Brent Suter; and Andrew Miller, a free agent.