The fifth straight day of bargaining sessions between MLB and the MLBPA did have at least one development. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred was spotted at the meetings for the first time this week.
According to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, Manfred’s presence is largely ceremonial and not indicative of an imminent breakthrough between MLB and the MLBPA.
“At the very least, it gives off a sense of urgency for sure with just days to go before that Monday deadline. But in terms of actual progress towards the collective bargaining agreement, I’m not sure the commissioner showing up matters that much.”
Rogers reported that the two sides met for more than five hours on Friday. He also stated that that’s the most time the two parties have spent in the same room in a single day this week.
That’s all well and good, but Rogers cautions that MLB and the MLBPA still have to find common ground on the most divisive topics.
“They still have the big stuff to get to: CBT, arbitration, and the pre-arbitration bonus pool is still up-in -the-air as terms of how much is going to be in there. A lot of work to be done, but at least they’re talking.”
The league also announced on Friday that spring training games through March 7th have officially been cancelled. If an agreement can be reached by MLB’s imposed February 28th deadline, March 8th would be the earliest that spring training games would be played.
Per the league, spring games through March 7 have been canceled. Previously, the league had canceled games through the 4th. Earliest games will be played now is March 8 — if there’s an agreement by this Monday.
— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) February 26, 2022
A weekend breakthrough will need to be needed to ensure that Opening day happens on time.
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