The CBA negotiations on Wednesday got spicy. MLB reiterated to the players’ union that if a deal isn’t reached by February 28th, league owners are prepared to cancel, not postpone, regular season games. Meaning, players would not get paid for a full season.
ESPN Jesse Rogers paraphrased what the MLBPA fired back with in appearance on SportsCenter.
“Union sources are saying, ‘If we don’t get paid for 162, you’re not getting expanded playoffs.’ The rhetoric has gone up a notch. The urgency has taken hold here with just a few days left before the end of the month, they need to come to an agreement by Monday.”
That isn’t a small shot across the bow from the MLBPA to MLB. Expanding the playoffs would bring in a fresh round of television money for the league and owners. Increasing the number of postseason teams would double down on the league’s most proven, and most profitable, consumer product.
Rogers was then asked what actually got “done” on Wednesday besides the two sides threatening each other:
“Very little. The league offered a $10,000 raise to the minimum salary so starting in 2022, that minimum would be $640,000 and then go up $10,000 each year of the deal. That’s the only proposal that went either way and it was a slight movement towards the players. That’s it.”
Incremental movements are helpful, but time is running out to ensure a 162-game season this year. Jeff Passan highlighted the financial impasses on key topics.
Five days before the deadline MLB says will postpone regular-season games, here's the gap between the sides in their latest proposals:
Pre-arb bonus pool: $95M
Minimum salary: $135K/player
Draft lottery: 3 picks
That's a lot to cover in less than a week. Like, a lot.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 23, 2022
For that to happen, the two sides need to make big strides in finding coming ground in the next few days.
It’s fascinating MLB setting a hard deadline to play a full season for Monday. They locked us out. Had barely any contact for two months post lockout. Have yet to make a single good faith offer to even initiate real conversations to get a deal done. Just make a real offer ??.
— Alex Wood (@Awood45) February 24, 2022
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