With February 28 being Major League Baseball’s self-imposed deadline of getting a deal done before deciding to cancel the start of the regular season, there was finally some significant movement towards a deal being made. Perhaps finally feeling the urgency of their own deadline, MLB shockingly engaged in some some good-faith negotiating today and stayed at the negotiating table with the MLB Players Association for hours on end.
It was to the point where there were actually 13 different meetings over 16 hours between the players and the owners throughout the entirety of February 28 and bleeding deep into the night/early morning of March 1. The progress on negotiations actually got to the point that there was some optimism that a deal would get done at some point before dawn — which is an incredible development considering how sour the negotiations had been as recently as Saturday night.
While no deal was agreed upon on February 28, that doesn’t mean that the season has been pushed back just yet. In fact, there’s actually some hope that an agreement can be made today. Jeff Passan of ESPN was the first to report that the deadline has been moved to 5 p.m. ET.
There will be no deal on a new collective-bargaining agreement in this early hour, sources tell ESPN. Enough progress was made that MLB and the MLBPA will meet again later today in hopes of finalizing one. Deadline to miss regular-season games has been moved to 5 p.m. today.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 1, 2022
So, what was the progress made during this marathon session of bargaining? According to various reporters (with USA Today’s Bob Nightengale (!!!) leading the way in terms of reporting), they’ve made progress on ideas such as expanded playoffs, the minimum salary, the arbitration pool and luxury tax penalties. There even appeared to be some rumblings about putting some restrictions on the shift. Either way, this appears to be a bit of a bittersweet parting between the players and the owners for now — it’s good that there was plenty of progress made but it turns out that there’s still plenty of negotiating left to be had if we’re going to see a deal get done just under 14 hours after this piece gets published.
MLBPA doesn’t feel any major area done. MLB’s CBT starts at $220m, prearb bonus pool at $20 m, and minimum salary at $675k. Players want higher numbers.— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) March 1, 2022
MLB’s CBT proposal:
New: MLB is OK not increasing CBT tax rates
However, there’s hope. If both MLB and the MLBPA were willing to meet for as long as they did over the past 24 hours, then it seems as if a shift (for lack of a better term) has taken place and now it’s reasonable to have hope that the two negotiating parties can come to a fair agreement. 5 p.m. is going to arrive sooner rather than later, but here’s hoping that there’s a deal in place by the time this evening begins.