MLB Lockout negotiations have ramped up the last few weeks. Well, it’s more a hostage situation where the MLBPA are pushing for the safe return of the season but the MLB keep upping their price. You get the idea. Make sure to read the first piece in the “A Lockout” series if you haven’t already.
So, what has been happening so far?
The past few weeks have seen multiple meetings take place, a media appearance by the Commissioner, an attempt to get a mediator and a war of words. Basically, this has been more about the balance of power than an actual negotiation.
Have there been any changes to the terms?
Yes and no. Some of the proposals that the MLBPA have made have been taken into consideration by the league, and then, for lack of a better term, pooped on. Arbitration has been a sore point for some time, with players’ service time taking a hit and being manipulated so as to keep to the terms of arbitration. As such, the MLB agreed to a pre-arb pool. This is a win right? Until they announced that the pool would be a measly $10M, when the union wanted $105M.
It’s little things like this that have been stalling the negotiations and end to the MLB’s lockout. The players rightly feel as though the terms of the CBA have consistently made the game worse for them, whilst making the owners happy. As such, with this league implemented lockout, the union are going all in. After all, this is the perfect opportunity to right many wrongs.
What’s going to happen now?
The league announced yesterday, Feb 18th, that Spring Training games will be delayed though March 5th. Whilst this was expected, it is nonetheless unnecessary. The league and the union are more than able to continue these talks in the background of the season. The lockout and subsequent delays are completely unnecessary and avoidable. Not only has this situation put the internal relations between the owners and players in jeopardy, but it’s soured the relationship between the fans and baseball.
Tensions are only going to further rise if the season ends up getting delayed due to this power struggle. To try and combat this, many sources across the league believe that there are going to be frequent meetings over the next week to really push a new deal. Many players and owners are going to be flying in to attend the talks, the hope being a new deal is reached before the Feb 28th deadline the league implemented so as to avoid a disrupted season.
In all honesty, it seems a full, uninterrupted season is unlikely. Both sides are miles apart in terms of what they want. The league is happy with the core economics of the CBA whereas the union want a complete overhaul. The two parties have had months before the CBA expired to address these issues and nothing has happened. The likelihood of a fair and common ground being reached before Feb 28th is low. It appears to MLB lockout will continue to be prolonged.
How will this end?
One side is going to have to yield, but neither seem willing to do so, so my advice? Don’t hold out too much hope. There’s a lot to get through yet, the CBT hasn’t even been discussed.
To keep up to date on all the goings on of all things MLB lockout, check out the lockout updates.