Officials from MLB and the MLBPA have been in Dallas this week working on a new CBA. The old deal expired Wednesday night at 11:59 p.m. ET and we appear to be headed towards a lockout after representatives from both sides ended talks after just seven minutes of negotiations Wednesday afternoon. ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that league officials informed the union that no further talks would happen Wednesday.
After three days of negotiations, little to no progress was made. The sides remain split on key economic issues. Per Passan, the league offered to increase the competitive-balance-tax from $210 million to $214 million and later to $220 million. The union was asking for a CBT of $245 million and is also looking to shorten the time it takes for a player to reach free agency which to this point has been a non-starter for the league.
As expected, the owners officially instituted a lockout at midnight with commissioner Rob Manfred releasing a letter to fans via MLB.com. Manfred took an accusatory tone blaming the Players Association for taking a strategy of confrontation over compromise.
We have had challenges before with respect to making labor agreements and have overcome those challenges every single time during my tenure. Regrettably, it appears the Players Association came to the bargaining table with a strategy of confrontation over compromise. They never wavered from collectively the most extreme set of proposals in their history, including significant cuts to the revenue-sharing system, a weakening of the competitive balance tax, and shortening the period of time that players play for their teams. All of these changes would make our game less competitive, not more.
Additionally, the league maintains that the lockout was a necessary step to spur negotiations along.
The MLBPA responded a short time later calling the lockdown a “dramatic measure” while pointing out that “it was the owners’ choice” to pressure the Players into relinquishing rights and benefits.
Statement from the Major League Baseball Players Association: pic.twitter.com/34uIGf762W— MLBPA Communications (@MLBPA_News) December 2, 2021
So, the first work-stoppage in 26 years is here. Buckle up because it could be a long one.
I took a closer look at what to expect from a lockout earlier this week but just to recap. The offseason will be frozen. There will be no more talks between teams and players and things like arbitration and the Rule 5 Draft will be postponed until a deal is reached. Players will be unable to access team facilities which means injured players like Charlie Morton, Mike Soroka and Ronald Acuña Jr. will have to rehab elsewhere.
- MLB.com’s Mark Bowman highlights three top remaining needs that the Braves must address this offseason.
- MLB handed down a light retroactive 20-game suspension to Braves outfielder Marcell Ozuna earlier this week. On Wednesday, TMZ released police video footage of his arrest.
2021 Braves Season in Review
We are entering the home stretch of our 2021 season review series. On Wednesday we had a pair of prospect reviews including 2021 first round pick Ryan Cusick and Jasseel De La Cruz, who was non-tendered by the club ahead of Tuesday’s deadline.
- Marcus Stroman announced via his Twitter account Wednesday that he is signing with the Chicago Cubs.
- Utilityman Chris Taylor is reportedly returning to the Los Angeles Dodgers on a new deal.
- The Philadelphia Phillies and free agent reliever Corey Knebel have an agreement on a one-year, $10 million deal.
- The Minnesota Twins agreed to a one-year, $4 million deal with right-hander Dylan Bundy. The deal also includes an $11 million option for 2023 and a $1 million buyout.
- The San Francisco Giants officially signed left-hander Alex Wood to a two-year, $25 million deal that also includes an additional $2.5 million in bonuses.
- Closer Mark Melancon agreed to a two-year, $14 million deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Melancon will make $6 million in 2022 and 2023 and the deal includes a $5 million option for 2024 with a $2 million buyout.
- The San Diego Padres agreed to a four-year, $20 million deal with Nick Martinez. Martinez spent the past four seasons pitching in Japan.
- The Milwaukee Brewers acquired outfielder Hunter Renfroe from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. and prospects David Hamilton and Alex Binelas.
- The Red Sox also have an agreement with free agent left-hander Rich Hill on a one-year deal that is worth $5 million.
- Former Braves infielder Johan Camargo has a new home after agreeing to a one-year, $1.4 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. Atlanta non-tendered Camargo ahead of Tuesday’s deadline.
- The Braves non-tendered Richard Rodriguez Tuesday making him a free agent. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Jason Mackey reports that the Pirates are interested in bringing Rodriguez back.
- The New York Yankees are still in the shortstop market and have reportedly shown interest in current Rangers infielder Isiah Kiner-Falefa and free agent Andrelton Simmons.