The lockout implemented by the league and the subsequent negotiations are confusing, to say the least. Here, you can find updates on what has happened so far. If you have any questions regarding the information, reach out to me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.
March 3rd, 2022 – The first meeting after the deadline
Once again, there was no progress. You would assume that there would be some semblance of urgency, but the meeting was over in less than six hours and very little to know movement had been made.
It’s unclear when a new meeting will take place. It’s unclear of what will become of baseball at this point.
March 1st, 2022 – Baseball is Dead
The first two series of the season have been canceled.
A sad day for baseball fans everywhere. The sport has been forever changed. No deal was made, the “final offer” proposed by the league was a slap in the face of the players’ union.
The owners have made a mockery of this beautiful sport and turned it into an issue of money and power rather than a game.
Manfred addressed the media at 5pm ET. He talked about the proposals they made and how he felt they were fair. Spoiler alert: they were not. The differences between what they offered and what the union wanted were so far apart.
He also mentioned that there has been nothing scheduled as of yet for further meetings. He made a definitive statement that the offer they (MLB) made was in a large sense the final offer. Everything they were willing to offer was included in the proposal.
This is just a mess right now.
Feb 28th, 2022 – Day 8 of Meetings in Jupiter FL.
It’s deadline day. And it has been a doozy. Baseball fans have not slept and neither have both sides. Meetings continued on well into the night with multiple back and forth. Not a lot of new information. It seems that there is significant hope that a deal can be made.
Deadline has been extended to tomorrow at 17:00 ET.
Feb 27th, 2022 – Day 7 of Meetings in Jupiter FL.
As was already known, the league did not like the union’s proposal. Their counter reflected as much. Minimal movement again, it seems to have reverted back to the first few meetings.
Deadline is tomorrow. It’s really not looking good.
Feb 26th, 2022 – Day 6 of Meetings in Jupiter FL.
The union offered a proposal today that the league considered. And then subsequently laughed at.
The big hitters: Super 2’s, revenue sharing and CBT. MLBPA rightfully wants it’s players to be given a fair share compared to previous seasons. MLB don’t want to do this.
The 28th Feb deadline that the league is in two days. The chance that the season would be cancelled has been on the horizon for some time, but now it’s been made clear that we will have a shortened season. There is little to no chance that a deal will be made in time.
One thing has been made abundantly clear though, is that the union will not budge. The league offered them a perfect opportunity to take a stand and they are taking full advantage of it.
Feb 25th, 2022 – Day 5 of Meetings in Jupiter FL.
The commissioner of baseball finally makes his appearance for the first time all week. Once again, very little progress.
Games have now been cancelled through March 7th, that is contingent of course on if there is actually a deal made by Monday.
Feb 24th, 2022 – Day 4 of Meetings in Jupiter FL.
It’s not good
— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) February 24, 2022
The players have made their thoughts perfectly clear on the issues on tanking in recent years. MLBPA wants to solve this issue, and MLB seemingly does not.
All proposals are moving incrementally, which is not nearly quick enough. Season is very much looking to be in jeopardy.
Feb 23rd, 2022 – Day 3 of Meetings in Jupiter FL.
The league’s turn today. Again, only small changes. I.e. minimum salary was increased to $640k with $10k increments per year. Underwhelming is the only way to describe it. And frustrating.
With only a few days left before the deadline we are no closer to a deal. Jeff Passan sums it up perfectly:
Five days before the deadline MLB says will postpone regular-season games, here's the gap between the sides in their latest proposals:
Pre-arb bonus pool: $95M
Minimum salary: $135K/player
Draft lottery: 3 picks
That's a lot to cover in less than a week. Like, a lot.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 23, 2022
Feb 22nd, 2022 – Day 2 of Meetings in Jupiter FL.
Similar to yesterday’s meeting. MLBPA offered minor tweaks to their current proposals, including lowering their ask of Super 2’s to 75% and reducing the number of draft lottery picks from eight to seven. CBT has not yet been discussed, but the letters were uttered in the meeting. Huge.
MLB once again requested a mediator. The union again rejected. Tomorrow the league offers their counter proposal, more players are expected to fly in.
Feb 21st, 2022 – Day 1 of Meetings in Jupiter FL.
Both sides met in what is expected to be a week of meetings. Despite spending over five hours together, the outcome was underwhelming from the union’s standpoint. Just an additions $5M added to the pre-arb pool and one addition to the draft lottery, bringing the total to four teams. A major win though is that the league withdraw its proposal of control over minor league playing jobs.
According to many MLB insiders, the tone of the meeting was generally improved compared to previous occasions. There was no deal today, but progress has been positive. The union is expected to offer a counter proposal tomorrow.
Feb 18th, 2022 – Spring Training Games Delayed
The league officially announced that the games will be delayed through March 5th. With the way negotiations are going, this was not surprising but it has now placed urgency on the talks. The 28th Feb deadline is just 10 days away, the expectation is that there will be meetings every day starting Monday. Multiple reports across the league have anticipated that owners and players alike are going to be making the trip to attend these talks.
Things are finally starting to gain traction.
Feb 17th, 2022 – Still no deal
MLBPA has budged very slightly on its arbitration stance. Instead of wanting all players to be eligible for Super 2s, they are now requesting just 80%. That percentage is still a massive increase from the previous 22%. But they also ask, to compensate for this, the pre-arb pool to be increased to $115M. MLB previously set a Feb 28th deadline for a deal to be made so as to avoid a disrupted season start.
We are incredibly close to that deadline, with no end in sight. It seems these talks are heading in the opposite direction.
Feb 15th, 2022 – A sad day
Pitchers and Catchers were supposed to report today. Instead, the league asked for the ability to eliminate hundreds of minor league playing jobs. This is a sore point for all baseball fans, with many noting just how woefully mistreated these potential future stars are. The league already eliminated 42 minor league teams so as to evenly spread out the remaining 120 teams amongst the 30 ball clubs.
A very bad look for the league.
Feb 12th, 2022 – League offers a very modest proposal
Predictably, the union rejected the latest offer by the league. MLBPA wants to address the issue of failed economy in MLB, whilst the league argues that the implementation of an expanded playoff and universal DH offsets these issues. Both sides are unwilling to budge from their points.
Pitchers and Catchers are to report in just three days. A delay to spring training is inevitable.
Feb 10th, 2022 – Manfred speaks to the media
When I heard that Manfred was going to make a statement, I was praying he would announce his decision to step down as Commissioner. I was unfortunately wrong.
Instead, he announced that a draft lottery will be implemented, a universal designated hitter has been agreed upon and they have eliminated draft pick compensation. All steps in the right direction. But he also talked about how the union has rejected other offers that are “significantly better than the previous agreement”. The previous CBA led to a lockout and disgruntled players, the last agreement should not and cannot be used as a baseline.
He did say that “the status of spring training is no change right now” and of Opening Day said, “I’m an optimist, and I believe we will have an agreement in time to play our regular season schedule.” Interesting words considering that training is scheduled to begin in less than a week.
Feb 3rd, 2022 – MLB requests a federal mediator
It’s not uncommon for sports leagues to use a federal mediation to end work stoppages, NHL had a successful end to their lockout in 2013 using a mediator. MLB recognises that agreeing to a deal is taking far longer than they want, so imposing a third party may help speed up the process.
MLBPA vehemently disagrees. It should be noted, that these negotiations can continue without a lockout in place. Spring Training and the season can go ahead as planned, whilst both sides continue discussion in the background. Not only have the league refused to end the lockout, but now they want to offer a quick solution to a problem they have created. MLBPA has obviously denied a request for mediation, instead urging MLB “back to the table.”
Statement from the Major League Baseball Players Association: pic.twitter.com/KBssy2e66U
— MLBPA Communications (@MLBPA_News) February 4, 2022
MLB countered that they cannot “understand why a party that wants to make an agreement would reject mediation from the federal agency specifically tasked with resolving these disputes”, per Jeff Passan.
“It is time to get assistance.”
Major League Baseball responded today to the MLBPA rejecting the intervention of a federal mediator. The entire statement, via a league spokesman: pic.twitter.com/3jGBLPGudX
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 4, 2022
Both sides are already determined to not stand down, and this move by MLB has just worsened relations between the league and its players.
Feb 1st, 2022 – A huge step backwards
After the last meeting, it was hoped that both sides can continue with this slow, forward progress. This is unfortunately not the case. Very little has changed, and with now two weeks before spring training is scheduled to start, the outcome is not looking very good. If training is delayed, then the games are at risk of being postponed, and then Opening Day is in danger.
MLB has committed to making a counterproposal by the end of the week, hoping to get back on track from the end of January.
Jan 25th, 2022 – Arbitration talks
A huge point of focus for the union is arbitration. Whether it be service time manipulation or being grossly underpaid, this is a sector in which the players are continuously facing issues. As such, MLB agreed to the parameter of a pre-arb pool, they want it set at $10M, the union wants $105M. MLBPA wants a $775K min. salary, MLB offered $615K.
Whilst this seems like a step backwards, it did highlight that there may be a sliver of hope yet. The last two meetings showed where both sides currently stand, giving a somewhat rocky path to a deal. Pitchers and catchers report in three weeks, so if both sides don’t want a delay to this, they’re heading in the right direction.
Jan 24th, 2022 – MLBPA responds
A counterproposal was set forth by the union, this one much broader and more in-depth, highlighting all the “big ticket” items that the players are steadfast on. This was not a surprise, there has been a lot of contention in recent years about how the CBA is leaving players with the worse hand, it makes sense that they would want to right all the wrongs. Another meeting is set for tomorrow.
Jan 13th, 2022 – Both sides meet for the first time
43 days after the stoppage, MLB finally presented MLBPA with a core economics proposal. One which was laughed out, it was barely a good faith effort by the league, just enough to spark actual negotiations.
This meeting served to just prove that a mid-Feb start to spring training seems highly unlikely.
Dec 2nd, 2021 – MLB imposes a lockout
Manfred decided that a work stoppage is the best way to get a deal done, much to the chagrin of MLBPA and baseball fans.