A few weeks ago we wrote about the Major League Baseball work stoppage and labor negotiations. There is still no resolution as both the league and its players' association remain at odds sorting out economic concerns. Major, sport-defining issues loom.
The league and the MLB players association met on Dec. 17 to hash out relatively non-contentious issues such as scheduling, grievance procedures, special events, and drug and domestic violence policies.
Conflicts regarding revenue, salary arbitration, and free agency remain at the core of the ongoing dispute between the two sides. MLB locked out its players on December 2 after the previous collective bargaining agreement expired.
The MLBPA laid out a proposal in November that included a soft salary floor of $100 million with penalties for teams that have payrolls below that amount, as well as a higher luxury tax threshold. The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres were the only two teams to go over the $210 million threshold in 2021.
The MLBPA also proposed allowing players to reach free agency after five years of service time, as opposed to the current six. MLB has proposed a new system in which players become free agents after reaching 29.5 years of age.
Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred published a letter to fans after instituting the lockout, saying “the Players Association’s vision for Major League Baseball would threaten the ability of most teams to be competitive.”
Alterations to the game itself are also expected. MLB is believed to desire expanded playoffs, as well as making the designated hitter rule universal rather than just in the American League.
We will keep monitoring the situation with hopes that it doesn't affect the start of spring training in February.