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OC Register: Union to respond to MLB’s latest CBA proposal on Wednesday; game cancellations on hold


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By RONALD BLUM AP Baseball Writer

NEW YORK — Negotiators for locked-out players and Major League Baseball spent 16½ hours bargaining, then recessed talks until Wednesday morning as Commissioner Rob Manfred let his deadline to reach a deal preserving a 162-game season pass.

Shortly after 3 a.m. ET on the 98th day of the lockout, MLB said no additional games had been canceled and talks will continue.

“The players’ association requested to speak to their board early tomorrow before responding to our proposal and will be getting back to us in the morning,” an MLB spokesman said in a statement.

A session Tuesday morning at MLB’s office across the street from Radio City Music Hall was followed by an afternoon session at the union’s office overlooking Rockefeller Center, about a three-block walk. The sides then switched to talking by telephone from their separate offices.

MLB made moves toward players on the key economic issues of the luxury tax, the amount of a new bonus pool for pre-arbitration-eligible players and minimum salaries. The league also pushed for its long-held goal of an international amateur draft.

Yet, it remained unclear whether this more intensive phase of talks would lead to an agreement or yet another breakdown in oft-strained negotiations that have dragged on for nearly a year.

Manfred originally set a Feb. 28 deadline for preserving Opening Day on March 31.

After 16½ hours of bargaining in Jupiter, Florida, which began on Feb. 28 and ended at 2:30 a.m. the following morning produced progress, Manfred extended that deadline to 5 p.m. the following day.

Talks broke down, and Manfred announced the first two series for each team during the season had been canceled. Negotiators returned to New York and resumed bargaining on Sunday.

While it appears there is no chance Opening Day could take place as originally scheduled, MLB told the union that Tuesday was the last possible day to reach an agreement that would allow a modified 162-game schedule, along with full salary and service time needed to reach free agency for players.

Canceling the second week of games could have grave consequences at a particularly sensitive time in bargaining. The ultimatum from the league, which locked out players on Dec. 2, was simple: With a new basic agreement, players would report to spring training sites this week, free agency would reopen and, following a shortened spring training, a 162-game season that offered players full pay and service time would commence.

MLB on Tuesday offered a tax threshold starting at $230 million and rising to $242 million, a person familiar with the proposal said, confirming a move first reported by The Athletic. The person, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because no public statements were authorized, said management’s proposal contained tougher penalties at a higher payroll level than in the expired agreement.

The union began the week at $238 million for this year, rising to $263 million in 2026.

The union entered Monday asking for an $80 million bonus pool for this year and MLB was at $30 million. MLB offered a $700,000 minimum salary and the union asked for $725,000.

There were greater differences in the final four seasons of the proposed five-year deal. The union’s proposed figure for 2026 was $263 million at the start of the week.

Other proposed deal points created optimism that a deal could be close. The league had proposed a six-team draft lottery, 12-team postseason and a 45-day window for MLB to change on-field rules, all of which matched the union’s previous offer.

Service-time considerations are vital to players, who reach salary arbitration after three full years of major league service and free agency after six. Players receive a full year of service if they spend 172 days on a major league roster. There are typically 186 days in a season, and if more than two weeks of the season are canceled, recouping service would become part of any further negotiations.

Among the league’s other proposals, according to reports:

• A $40 million bonus pool for players who have yet to reach salary arbitration; the union is seeking $75 million

• Minimum salaries starting at $700,000 and increasing to $770,000 by the fifth year

• The shortened window for MLB to unilaterally implement rules changes – among them a pitch clock, ban on defensive shifts and larger bases in the 2023 season

• Player uniforms featuring advertising for the first time, with patches on jerseys and decals on batting helmets

• The National League adopting the designated hitter

• Draft pick inducements to discourage service-time manipulation

• Restricting the number of times a player can be optioned to the minor leagues in one season to five

Player salaries have dropped over the past four seasons despite growing revenues that topped out at an estimated $10.7 billion in 2019. The significant rise in franchise values – which have almost quadrupled over the past two basic agreements – united the players.

At the same time, the league, content with the current economic system, has pushed back on the massive gains players hoped to reap. While the potential guarantees for younger players amount to around $100 million, the game’s uncapped system allows teams to spend less on older players to balance out the added costs.

News services contributed to this story.

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2 hours ago, Angels 1961 said:

Earliest date May 1 to start season

Jeebus dude, you can't be having fun posting this crap. What the heck is wrong with you? Are you that negative and unhappy with your life that you just want everything to be shit?

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40 minutes ago, Hubs said:

Jeebus dude, you can't be having fun posting this crap. What the heck is wrong with you? Are you that negative and unhappy with your life that you just want everything to be shit?

All I did was post when I thought season would start. I hope I'm wrong. Remember many fans are at the point of not caring. 

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21 minutes ago, Angels 1961 said:

All I did was post when I thought season would start. I hope I'm wrong. Remember many fans are at the point of not caring. 

All signs point to the starting date of April 7 or 8, and they're voting right now to accept the CBA. And you post May 1.

You are just trolling. You enjoy being this boards version of Eeyore.

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