If one begins to sense a reoccurring theme within the stalemate that is the MLB lockout, it’s more than understandable.
And now a second week of the season has been canceled.
For a second consecutive week, a day of marathon talks that forced the league to push back deadlines that would cancel regular-season games was followed up by exchanges of little progress. That’s what happened, again, on Wednesday as the team owners and players’ union’s inability to come to an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement has resulted in more canceled regular-season games. This after Opening Day and the first two series of the 2022 season was wiped out last week.
“Opening Day is postponed until April 14,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “We worked hard to reach an agreement and offered a fair deal with significant improvements for the players and our fans. I am saddened by this situation’s continued impact on our game and all those who are a part of it, especially our loyal fans.”
Significant hurdles remain in areas such as the international draft, as the players reportedly don’t want anything to do with it, but the sides are inching closer on some core economic factors. The problem is that the pace is putting more portions of the 2022 season in danger, with MLB insider Jon Heyman adding that the “rhetoric is very bad now,” and “pessimism reigns.”
During 17-hour talks that spanned from Tuesday to Wednesday, the league and owners offered the players raised its initial number on the competitive balance tax (CBT) to $230 million where it would increase incrementally to $242 million by 2026. They also bumped the pre-arbitration bonus pool money up to $40 million.
The players countered Wednesday afternoon with a CBT that starts at $232 million in 2022 and increases to $250 million over the next four seasons with a pre-arbitration pool ask of $65 million — both legitimate concessions to try and meet MLB in the middle. However, it still amounts to a total of $22 million apart in the CBT and $175 million apart in the pre-arbitration pool over the life of the CBA.
The two sides are nearly there on minimum required salaries. After the league proposed a $700K figure that rises to $770K, the players countered with $710K rising to $780K.
With more games slated to be canceled, Major League Baseball is experiencing its second-longest work stoppage ever