Far from an agreement between the Players Association and the MLB »Baseball.it

We move towards a slip of the part of the Spring Training

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players association and the representatives of the Major League Baseball they met to seek mediation that would break the lockout and allow a return to normalcy, two weeks after the scheduled start of Spring Training. It is the second meeting in the last eight days and once again the topic was the “fundamental economic issues” facing the movement. The 90 minutes of the meeting are described as “very hot”, but in the end the much-desired white smoke did not occur. Agreement for the bonus fund to be distributed to salaried players before arbitration, meaning those with less than three years of MLB service, is still some way off. MLB is thinking of a total of 10 million, while the union is stuck at 100 million. According to the MLB with the proposed system, the winner of the National League cy young Corbin Burnes would have made $2.34 million last season instead of $608,000, while AL MVP runner-up Vladimir Guerrero Jr. would see an increase from $635,400 to $1.843 million. Other pre-arbitration players, including Austin Riley, Jonathan India and Randy Arozarena, would see their salaries increase by more than 200 percent in 2021.

According to some sources, the Players Association has stated that it is open to the league’s proposal to reward teams with draft options for keeping the best potential players on the roster throughout the season, part of MLB’s plan. to avoid the so-called “tampering” of time spent at a club. The issue is deeply felt because this tampering actually allows the club to delay the start of the time count and actually prolongs the player’s access times to the agent roster On this subject, the union had previously proposed shortening the access time for “rookies” who exceed a certain level in terms of WAR (Wins Above Replacement) by a full year.

The good news is that the union has given the green light to MLB’s proposal to “reward” teams that don’t manipulate time with additional draft picks, but the sides are still distant on the eligibility of the “Super- Two”. “Currently, about 22% of players are fast-tracked to arbitration after two years on the team. The Players Association would like to expand this possibility to all players, MLB absolutely does not want to start a discussion about it. .

In addition, differences over the new NBA-style draft rules, the expansion of the postseason and the extension of the designated hitter to the National League, the Luxury Tax and the issue of the minimum salary have yet to be resolved.

Expansion. An issue not strictly related to the renewal of the contract is that of the expansion of the MLB. According to some rumors, it seems that the inclusion of at least 2 or 3 new franchises can be expected, with Las Vegas, Nashville, Montreal (which recently received a knockout to split with Tampa Bay i Rays) and Tennessee to attend as venues. interested.

So if on the one hand they see the amount of common ground slowly increasing, on the other hand the differences still seem too deep and the time to find an agreement before the season is shortened is dangerously shortening.

According to the official schedule, the first practice games are scheduled for February 26, but a delay in the start of spring training seems inevitable at this point.

“MLB and MLBPA will meet again to discuss non-economic issues,” reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today. Nonfinancial issues could include possible rule changes, changes to the joint drug agreement, scheduling procedures, etc.

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