Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to some camps as early as Feb. 14, but ESPN reports both players and executives anticipate the start of spring training will be postponed. It isn’t known how long postponements will last, as they will depend on negotiations that have lingered since the league locked players out Dec. 2.
The MLBPA’s proposal Tuesday included a drop in its bonus-pool request for pre-arbitration players from $105 million to $100 million, Passan reports.
“The union also reduced its ask for the number of players who would be awarded an additional year of service time — shortening their path to free agency — via award voting and performance,” Passan said. “All players who are top-five in Rookie of the Year voting, top-three in reliever of the year or make first- or second-team All-MLB would qualify alongside infielders who rank in the top seven of WAR at their position and outfielders, starting pitchers and relievers who are top-20. Previously, the union asked for those in the top 10 and 30, respectively.”
Minimum salaries and luxury tax continue to be topics of disagreement as the union wants rookies to earn a minimum of $775,000, while MLB has countered with $615,000 for the first year, $650,000 the second year and $700,000 the third year before being eligible for arbitration.
The union also wants the luxury tax threshold to be raised from $210 million to $245 million in the first year, and escalating to $273 million in 2026. The league countered with an offer to raise it from $214 million the first year and topping off at $220 million after five years. The union argues the league’s proposal also includes penalties that are nearly twice as great as the last CBA.
This was only the fourth negotiating session since Dec. 1, but USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports there will be a negotiating session Wednesday between the MLB and the MLBPA dealing only with non-core economic issues.
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