Locked out MLB Players to Respond to Clubs' Plan

Negotiations to end the lockout in Major League Baseball will resume on Thursday.

Locked out MLB Players to Respond to Clubs' Plan

Wednesday's notification by the players' association to management indicated that it was ready to respond to last weekend 's offer MLB, which was received with coolness by the union.

Baseball's ninth and final work stoppage begins on Thursday. This is one day after Spring Training workouts were scheduled to begin.

Exhibition games are unlikely to start on February 26th as planned. The work stoppage will soon threaten opening day, March 31. An agreement must be reached by February 31st or March 1st to ensure a timely start.

The union received 16 documents from clubs totaling 130 pages. These covered all the key areas and included a mixture of old proposals and new offers. This was only the fifth session on core economics since the lockout began.

Owners and players are still at odds over luxury tax rates and thresholds. They differ on revenue sharing and how to respond to players' claims of time manipulation.

MLB stated that it is opposed to any increase or decrease in the eligibility for salary arbitration.

MLB proposed that the thresholds for luxury taxes be raised from $210 million lastyear to $214 million 2022 and 2023. They will then rise to $216 million 2024, $218 millions 2025, and $222 million 2026.

Players proposed a luxury-tax threshold of $245 million for this year. This would increase to $273 million by 2026.

MLB has also proposed raising the tax rate to 20% to 50% for teams that exceed the initial threshold. The second threshold is 32% to 75%, and the third threshold is 62.5% or 100%.

Teams are still asking for non-monetary sanctions, which the union considers too harsh.

MLB suggested that a team would lose a 2nd-round pick if it crosses the second threshold ($234m this year and next), rather than losing 10 slots. They would also forfeit a 1st-round selection if they cross the third threshold ($254m).

Union members are concerned that teams might refuse to cross the threshold and penalize draft picks.

Clubs suggested that a team would lose a free agent and receive draft-pick compensation. This compensation would be based on revenue sharing status and whether the club has been above the threshold.

MLB suggested raising the minimum salary to $570,500 from $630,000, or a tiered minimum at $615,000 for first major leaguers. Players with less than one year of service would be eligible for $650,000, $725,000 for two years, and $650,000 for players with one. The latter proposal is an increase of $700,000. The minimum salary for players this year was $775,000, with the possibility of increasing to $875,000 in 2026.

MLB offered a $15 million pre-arbitration bonus pool. This was based on WAR, appearances in all-MLB teams and recognitions such as best position player and best pitcher. Under a structure clubs agreed to accept, the union now stands at $100 million.

MLB offered to give up to two draft picks, one amateur and one international, to address the allegations of service time manipulating. This was in response to six grievances filed by the union since 2015. The union is against an international draft.

MLB currently has three teams in the draft lottery. Players have eight. The MLB proposes expanding the playoffs from 10 to 14 teams, while the union offers 12.


 

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