Major League Baseball and the MLBPA held another bargaining session Wednesday in Jupiter, Florida. The meeting lasted past 5 p.m. ET, but again minimal progress was reported. The most noteworthy thing to come out of Wednesday’s session was the owners doubling down on their stated deadline of February 28.
A Major League Baseball spokesperson said tonight that if a deal is not in place by Feb. 28, regular season games will be canceled. “A deadline is a deadline,” the spokesperson said. Player pay would not be recouped, nor would those games be rescheduled, the spokesperson said.— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) February 23, 2022
The owners are effectively saying that if a deal isn’t finished by the deadline, then games will be cancelled and a shortened season will be played and players will not receive their full salaries.
The league’s proposal for Wednesday upped minimum salaries another $10,000 which is just another minimal move that we have seen multiple times already this week.
As others have said, MLB’s proposal today was to raise their proposals on minimum salaries by $10,000.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) February 23, 2022
Literally even Pedro Baez could not slow this process down
The gap is still wide and neither side has touched the CBT which is arguably the biggest issue along with the pre-arbitration bonus pool. As ESPN’s Jeff Passan points out, there is still a wide chasm between the two sides and things are going to have to turn around in a hurry if they hope to get something accomplished before the owner’s self mandated deadline.
Five days before the deadline MLB says will postpone regular-season games, here's the gap between the sides in their latest proposals:— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 23, 2022
Pre-arb bonus pool: $95M
Minimum salary: $135K/player
Draft lottery: 3 picks
That's a lot to cover in less than a week. Like, a lot.
The league’s announcement Wednesday reiterating a hard deadline rings hollow given that this is an ownership induced lockout that could be lifted tomorrow if they so desired. It won’t happen because they would then cede leverage to the players. Remember that the offseason never had to stop. The owners didn’t have to sit on their hands for six weeks after instituting a lockout either.
It’s fascinating MLB setting a hard deadline to play a full season for Monday. They locked us out. Had barely any contact for two months post lockout. Have yet to make a single good faith offer to even initiate real conversations to get a deal done. Just make a real offer .— Alex Wood (@Awood45) February 24, 2022
It is also worth questioning as to whether or not the owners actually want to play a full season. A shortened schedule limits the amount of money paid to the players and an expanded postseason would likely allow the league to recoup all of what was lost. It is a situation that is similar to what we saw in 2020.
Both sides are scheduled to meet again Thursday and if there are positives in any of this, it is that they are still talking and meeting. However, at this juncture, it looks as though there is simply too wide a gap to cross in such a short time.