UPDATE: Per Ken Rosenthal, MLBPA will be issuing what could be a point-by-point response to each of the points in MLB’s latest offer:
Union plans to offer MLB written responses to all of the league’s most recent proposals. https://t.co/KruqgW3jAc— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 5, 2022
I’m guessing they won’t just write “bruh” repeatedly in a bulleted list, but at this point, that might be warranted, after the owners resorted to chicanery like including player meals and All-Star Game attendance stipends in the luxury/Competitive Balance Tax calculations. From my perspective, that’d be better than acceding to a 14-team playoff proposal. It remains to be seen whether the “written responses” will constitute a new proposal that attempts to move the ball forward, or is just an explanation of what the MLBPA disliked from the owners’ latest proposal, which would make for a pretty ambiguous next step.
The meeting will apparently involve no player representatives:
Top negotiators from MLB and the players union will be at tomorrow’s session, no players. @Ken_Rosenthal 1st mentioned meeting— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 5, 2022
As we enter Day 94 of the lockout, the MLBPA is preparing a written response to Major League Baseball’s latest offer on a new collective bargaining agreement according to a report by ESPN’s Jeff Passan. The two sides met informally Thursday in a meeting that included deputy commissioner Dan Halem and lead negotiator for the union Bruce Meyer. Per Passan, the league requested the union deliver in writing an outline for its proposals.
It is unclear when the two sides will get together. The union will need approval of its player representatives before it can fulfill the request of the league on a new proposal.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reported Friday that the union would consider an expanded postseason to 14 teams which has been a stated goal of the league. The players are willing to revisit a 14-team playoff and doing so might allow them further concessions on the Competitive Balance Tax and other areas. Passan’s report says that the players are willing to consider 14 teams but only if there is a provision included that incentivizes winning a division. Welcome to the “ghost win” concept.
While the players agreed to a playoff expansion from 10 to 12 teams, they would consider expanding to 14 — MLB’s preferred number — but only if the three-game wild-card series include a unique provision. To incentivize winning a division, the players have proposed using a “game in hand” or “ghost win,” in which a division winner in a three-game wild-card series would start the series with “a win” and need only one more to advance.
So far the two sides have made multiple proposals that have led nowhere. It remains to be seen if this time will be any different.
In other lockout related news, ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel reported Friday that multiple teams have inquired with the league about the possibility of canceling the Rule 5 draft for the upcoming season. The Rule 5 Draft was slated to take place at the end of the Winter Meetings, but those were canceled after the owners instituted the lockout on December 2.
Per the report, 16 teams have barred scouts from their complexes for fear of losing players through the Rule 5 draft. Some teams fear that closing camps to scouts could significantly slow the trade market once the offseason resumes.
McDaniel reports that this year’s Rule 5 draft has not been discussed in any of the negotiations between the players and the league so far. However, it is a collectively bargained issue which means that the union and the league would have to agree before it could be canceled.