Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association met face-to-face at the union’s office Monday afternoon. Those attending the meeting on MLB’s side per The Athletic’s Evan Drellich included deputy commissioner Dan Halem, labor committee chair and Rockies owner Dick Monfort, executive Vice President Morgan Sword and counsel Patrick Houlihan.
The meeting lasted for just over two hours per the Washington Post’s Chelsea Janes. Drellich also reports that the union dropped its request to introduce an age-based free agency system at Monday’s meeting. That had been one of the areas that the league had shown resistance in changing. Currently it takes a player six years to reach fee agency and it now appears as though that is unlikely to change.
The union also revised its proposal for changes to the current revenue sharing system which is another hot button issue that the league has shown no interest in changing. The players also rejected nearly all of the league’s most recent proposal that they presented in a virtual meeting last week.
By dropping the quest to shorten the time to reach free agency, the players will now likely focus their attention on revenue sharing and arbitration. The union would like to see players paid earlier in their career, but that is one of the issues that the league has been unwilling to discuss up until this point. The players are proposing a system that would allow them to reach arbitration after two years.
So perhaps some form of progress came out of Monday’s meeting. Both sides needed to narrow down the issues and the union did that by dropping the quest to shorten the time to free agency. Now we wait to see how the league responds.
Fortunately, we won’t have to wait long. Both sides are planning to meet again on Tuesday.
MLB and the Players Association will meet again tomorrow. The pace has officially picked up.— Hannah Keyser (@HannahRKeyser) January 24, 2022
We will continue to update this article with any additional information that becomes available from Monday’s meeting.
Updated - More details on the union’s proposal for the changes to revenue sharing. The original proposal called for a $100 million reduction in revenue sharing. Today’s proposal was for an estimated $30 million reduction.
Another concession the Union made today: modifying previous proposal to cut revenue sharing by 100M. New proposal cuts by far less, estimated 30M. Had been sticking point with MLB, who thought idea of cutting revenue sharing would be problematic for smaller market teams. https://t.co/sUuZTiG8Ig— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) January 24, 2022
Also, this is probably the appropriate takeaway from today’s negotiation. There is still a ton of work to do, but both sides met today and things didn’t get worse. That is progress.
At the risk of being Debbie Downer: Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves here. The meeting was contentious. There is a lot — a lot — left to work out before there’s a new labor deal. This still could take a while.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 24, 2022
But the fact that it didn’t go backward when it could’ve? W.
Update - More details from today’s meeting. The league is planning to make another proposal on Tuesday. It also sounds like Monday’s meeting was contentious, but that isn’t really all that surprising given the situation.
MLB indeed plans to make a proposal tomorrow. Unclear exactly on what, but won’t be a global proposal covering every area.— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) January 24, 2022
An MLB official called the dialogue today spirited. Meeting lasted close to two hours. Put another way: it was heated.— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) January 24, 2022