The MLB CBA negotiations took another turn on Thursday. According to a report by ESPN’s Jeff Passan, MLB owners have requested federal mediation for future meetings.
Major League Baseball today requested immediate assistance of a federal mediator to help resolve the sport’s lockout, sources told ESPN. Under their request, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service would help assist with the proceedings.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 3, 2022
This is another signal, on top of a bevy of reports from experts, that the previous bargaining sessions between MLB and the MLBPA have been largely unproductive.
It could also mean that the owners want to expedite the process to avoid cancelling regular season games. It’s also a public relations move. MLB owners now look like the “good guys” who are trying to speed up the negotiations. The players are then cast as the villains holding up the start of the baseball season if they decline the request.
Third-party mediation in MLB CBA talks is not a foreign concept. Mediation been used for previous CBA negotiations in baseball.
Passan had hinted that a third-party might have to get involved in the CBA negotiations in an appearance on Buster Olney’s podcast in January.
“…both sides hope we don’t get there, but in terms of salvaging a season and salvaging games being played, that right now is not a likely possibly, but a realistic one and one that could be on the table if the two sides continue to dig in the way that they have.”
Passtradomus was right on the money on this one.
As he mentions, the MLBPA has to agree to bringing in third-party mediation.
If they do, baseball fans just have to hope that mediation leads to CBA completion.
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