Major League Baseball formerly requested the assistance of a federal mediator Thursday in order to help navigate the ongoing labor situation with the Players Union. The MLBPA responded with a statement Friday and formally rejected the offer of mediation.
Two months after implementing their lockout, and just two days after committing to Players that a counterproposal would be made, the owners refused to make a counter, and instead requested mediation.
After consultation with our Executive Board, and taking into account a variety of factors, we have declined this request.
The clearest path to a fair and timely agreement is to get back to the table. Players stand ready to negotiate.
The league has shown no interest in good faith negotiations throughout this process and opting not to submit a counter proposal while instead choosing to request mediation is the latest example. It is nothing more than a ploy to turn up the heat on the players in the public sphere. The union’s statement states correctly that the quickest way back to the field is for both sides to get back to the table.
It is unclear where things will go from here. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports that MLB owners are scheduled to meet next week in Orlando. There was already zero chance that Spring Training was going to open on time even before this latest development.
UPDATE - Major League Baseball has responded with a statement of their own.