After a marathon negotiating session that lasted into the early morning hours Wednesday, Major League Baseball and the MLBPA are back at the table. There has apparently been quite a bit of progress made over the last two days, but it appears that there is still one significant stumbling block.
The league is looking to implement an International Draft for 2024 but has tied it to draft pick compensation for free agents. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the draft is a non-starter for Latin players.
International draft “non-starter” for Latin players and might not be acceptable to union even with major MLB give, sources tell @TheAthletic. Union in latest proposal still wants qualifying offer eliminated, as well as higher CBT thresholds and pre-arb pool than MLB has offered.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 9, 2022
Rosenthal adds that the union is still looking for higher CBT thresholds and pre-arbitration bonus pool money but most of the rhetoric today has been about the draft being the last major hurdle.
It is unclear at this moment where things will go from here. The league intended to cancel more regular season games Tuesday but pushed that back to Wednesday after the two sides met late into the night. The league’s deadlines are artificial in many ways, but should talks break off, an announcement of more games being cancelled will likely follow.
The two sides are still reportedly talking so hopefully this is just a momentary setback. We will have more updates as they become available.
UPDATE - The international draft apparently isn’t the only issue remaining between the two sides. The Athletic’s Evan Drellich reports that the union moved closer on the pre-arbitration bonus pool and CBT but a gap remains between the two sides.
Source: MLBPA proposal today moved to $65 million on prearbitration pool and $232m, $235m, $240m, $245m, $250m on CBT thresholds over the deal.— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) March 9, 2022
For the second week in a row, it appears that the two sides are unable to sustain the momentum of a marathon bargaining session.
Update - ESPN’s Jesse Rogers reports that the league is essentially offering three solutions.
Source: League offering 3 options: Sign the CBA, including eliminating draft pick compensation, and take some time to examine the international draft. If the union won’t implement within a couple years (by '24?), the league can re-open the CBA. 2/3— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) March 9, 2022
Second option: Do the entire package without the draft which means without draft pick compensation.— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) March 9, 2022
Third option: Take the original deal. League gets the international draft and draft pick compensation is eliminated. 3/3
UPDATE - The players are meeting internally to discuss next steps. We should have an answer soon.