Major League Baseball’s owner-imposed lockout is on the precipice of compromising the regular season. Monday marked the league’s self-imposed deadline for when a new collective bargaining agreement must be reached before regular-season games are canceled. This would mark the first time in 27 years that regular-season contests are impacted by a work stoppage. (The 2020 season was altered by the pandemic.)
As the clock struck midnight in Jupiter, Florida (where negotiations are happening) the MLBPA and MLB continued to talk. Reports throughout Monday evening seemed to suggest there was progress made toward a deal, but nothing was imminent. There appears to be a shred of hope that the 2022 season begins, as planned, on March 31, though the two sides still need to agree on several important items.
During Monday’s early meetings, MLB informed the MLBPA it is willing to miss a month’s worth of games and took a more threatening tone, reports Evan Drellich of The Athletic. Earlier this month commissioner Rob Manfred said missing games would be a “disastrous outcome” for the sport, words that have rung hollow in the weeks since. The two sides began meetings at 10 am ET on Monday in and were still going into the early morning hours.
Around 8:35 pm ET, a representative from the owner side was sent back to meet with the players. It is believed this was the sixth separate meeting between to the two sides on Monday. A report from Evan Drellich of The Athletic indicates there has been movement toward a deal. The owners have presented the players with two options, per the report:
1. Fourteen playoff teams, a minimum salary of around $ 700,000 and about $ 40 million in a bonus pool divided amongst the best pre-arbitration players.
2. Twelve playoff teams, a minimum salary of around $ 675,000 and around $ 20 million in the pre-arbitration bonus pool.
The two sides could continue negotiations on Tuesday and avoid pushing Opening Day back despite the league’s deadline, adds ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
CBS Sports has provided a timeline of the lockout here, but the short version is that the owners placed the padlocks on when the previous CBA expired. They were under no obligation to do so, but it was labeled as a defensive maneuver. The league then waited more than six weeks to make its first proposal. The two sides have since had a number of in-person negotiations, with some of the main sticking points including the Competitive Balance Tax; revenue sharing; the breakdown of players who qualify for Super Two status in arbitration; and the league-minimum salary.
CBS Sports is providing live updates of Monday’s and now Tuesday’s negotiations. You can find those below.