Day 61 of Mister Manfred’s lockout. The two sides met Monday and Tuesday.
Just to recap, MLB offered the following at the December meeting –
- MLB offered to revamp its system for compensating Super Two players. (This new system is similar to what the players rejected as a replacement for arbitration.)
- MLB offered to address service time manipulation by rewarding teams that promoted prospects from MLB’s Top 100 who won ROY or finished in the top 3 for CY Young or MVP in his first three seasons. (The flaw here is that the lists and awards are arbitrarily voted for by baseball writers.) (This is very flawed as the same boobs voting for the HOF would now be expected to be impartial in a voting process that directly affects players getting bonuses.)
- MLB offered an international draft.
- MLB offered to address tanking by offering a draft lottery for the three worst teams. (The union wants a more realistic eight-team lottery.)
- MLB continued to push for a 14-team playoff.
- MLB proposed a universal designated hitter.
The offer did not address core economic issues like –
- raising the minimum salary,
- earlier arbitration,
- earlier free agency,
- changes to revenue sharing, and
- a fairly large increase to the competitive balance threshold.
Monday, the MLBPA responded –
- MLBPA withdrew its request for age-based free agency (one of the three major topics that MLB did not want to discuss anyway).
- MLBPA revised its proposal on how the teams share revenue, lowering the amount considerably (from $100M to $30M).
Outstanding issues –
- arbitration after two years,
- minimum salaries,
- draft order,
- CBT levels.
Tuesday, MLB countered –
- MLB agreed to accept parameters of a pre-arbitration bonus pool for the top 30 WAR. MLBPA seeking a pool of $105M. League offered $10M.
- MLB offered to raise the minimum salary to $615K. MLBPA wants $775K.
- MLB withdrew its offer to change the arbitration structure.
MLB on Tuesday did not address –
- CBT thresholds,
- draft order.
While there seems to be little movement, the fact that there is any is significant.
The MLBPA withdrew a proposal that they knew was a non-starter, and was the least likely of the three core economic topics to be agreed to in their favor. MLB withdrew proposals that would have eliminated the salary arbitration process for players who already have a right to go through it, proposals that weren’t likely to be settled in their favor.
MLB’s willingness to discuss a bonus pool for pre-arb players is significant. Their $10M pool is not.
MLB had proposed a tiered payroll structure for players with less than 3 years of service time – $600K for 0 to 1 year, $650K for 1 to 2 years, and $700K for 2 to 3 years. Tuesday they offered to raise the $600K to $615K for the youngest group. But in true MLB fashion, The MLB chose to restrict the teams from paying more than each level’s assigned amounts (except for contract extensions and/or any bonus pool money). As you know, currently teams are allowed to pay a player who hasn’t reached arbitration more than the league minimum.
The talks were at times heated, as one would expect. There were, however, two incidents reported from Monday’s session.
- Deputy Commissioner Dan Harlen is reported to have said that MLB is willing to lose games over some of the outstanding issues. It is not known if that was a statement of fact or a threat. It’s also not known if it was made before the association withdrew a proposal or if any of the movement Tuesday alleviated anything.
- More interesting was that policy committee chair, Rockies owner Dick Monfort stated that “the difficulty at least some owners have affording teams, and the ancillary costs of ownership such as security and COVID-19 measures”. If you took my advice and followed Eugene Freedman, he had this to say. Essentially, stating that some teams “can’t afford” could shift the requirement of proof from basic financial information to maybe having to open the books. Monfort was not in attendance Tuesday.
It appears to me that as the “non-starter” topics are dropped, there should be no reason why an agreement couldn’t be reached. They are at least talking about most things. It should only be a matter of negotiating the points where they differ.
I’m not in favor of revenue sharing, but it seems to me that if the “richer” owners want to share some of their owners’ revenue with the “poorer” owners, that’s their prerogative. Personally, I’d be damned if I’d share some of my team’s money with the cheap owners. But, I don’t see how that can be the players’ business. (That drops another topic. We’re one more step closer
The Caribbean Series started Friday and will run through Thursday. After games on Monday and Tuesday, the semifinals will be held on Wednesday and the final on Thursday. You can watch it on ESPN Deportes, if you have that as part of your cable package. Maybe MLB will televise the evening games if there aren’t too many major league players on the rosters. Nah, they’ll probably continue their ineffectual programming due to the lockout.
The standings after 3 days are –
- 3-0 Dominican Republic
- 2-1 Columbia
- 2-1 Venezuela
- 1-2 Panama
- 1-2 Mexico
- 0-3 Puerto Rico
Information and game write-ups for the first 3 days can be found here.
This is the courtesy thread for comments and discussion about the Phillies and other BASEBALL topics.
Rosters and Stuff
- organization’s rosters (1/30/22)
- organization’s injury list (1/30/22)
- organization’s Rule 5 eligibility (1/30/22) (includes player info, assignments, …)
- December 1, 2021: CBA expires
- December 2, 2021: Manfred locks out players
- January 15, 2022 – Start of the 2021-22 international signing period
- January 28, 2022: Caribbean Series
- TBA: Minor League spring training reporting date (probably mid-to-late February)
- April 5, 2022: Lehigh Valley season opener at home v. Columbus
- April 8, 2022: Clearwater season opener at home v. Fort Myers
- April 8, 2022: Jersey Shore season opener at home v. Aberdeen
- April 8, 2022: Reading season opener at home v. Somerset