MLB job talks pass midnight amid opening day deadline | Oklahoma News
JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — Locked-out players and Major League Baseball engaged in an intense series of meetings that stretched into early Tuesday morning as they tried to work their way toward a labor agreement before management’s deadline to save opening day on March 31.
In the talks which began on Monday, the sides met for the 13th time with a session that began after 2am as the lockdown reached its 90th day. They made progress towards an agreement but remained far apart on key issues.
Commissioner Rob Manfred met with the union twice – once more than before since the lockout began on December 2. After months of on-and-off talks, the parties have moved into possible negotiation mode.
“We’re working on it,” Manfred said around 6 p.m. after his second session of the day with the union.
Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem and Executive Vice President Morgan Sword were key figures in the meetings. Some sessions lasted only a few minutes and also included Senior Vice President Pat Houlihan.
Negotiations entered a ninth straight post-league day and players have only met six times on the basic economy in the first 2½ months of lockdown. They explained their positions to each other in detail, both agreeing to funnel more money to younger players, but going into the day on many economic terms.
Manfred said an agreement must be reached by Monday to maintain four weeks of spring training ahead of a 162-game schedule. MLB did not set an exact time on the deadline, leading to the possibility of negotiation sessions extending into the wee hours if both sides felt a deal was within reach. .
The union hasn’t said whether it agrees with the deadline, and baseball has shortened spring training to as little as three weeks in the past.
Emotions ran higher as the parties pressed for each other’s backline. Philadelphia star Bryce Harper posted a photo on Instagram edited to show him in a Japanese baseball uniform with the words: “Yomiuri Giants you up? I have time to kill.”
Yankees pitcher Jameson Taillon, who participated in negotiations last week, tweeted“Players are used to their ‘threats’. The actions of the owners have made it clear that they have a set of games where they are still making a profit/receiving TV money. They don’t want to play. C It’s sad that these are the guys leading the direction and the ‘future’ of our amazing sport.”
The teams arrived at 10 a.m., three hours earlier than on previous days, at Roger Dean Stadium, the vacant spring training home of the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals.
Mets pitcher Max Scherzer and free agent reliever Andrew Miler were the only players present. Halem, Sword and Colorado Rockies CEO Dick Monfort also took part in the talks.
Players would lose $20.5 million in salary for each canceled day of the season, according to an Associated Press study, and the 30 teams would lose significant sums that are harder to pinpoint.
Spring training games were scheduled to start on Saturday, but baseball’s ninth work stoppage – and the first since 1995 – has already resulted in the cancellation of exhibitions through March 7.
The most controversial proposals in dispute relate to luxury tax thresholds and rates, the size of a new bonus pool for pre-arbitration players, minimum salaries, eligibility for salary arbitration and the willingness of the union to change the club’s revenue sharing formula.
Additionally, MLB has tied the elimination of direct free agent compensation to players accepting higher luxury tax rates and still wants to expand the playoffs to 14 teams rather than the union’s preference for 12. MLB also retained its proposal from an international amateur. draft on the table.
Not since August 30, 2002, has MLB been so close to losing regular season games to a labor dispute. The union was due to strike at 3:20 p.m., but about 25 consecutive hours of meetings and huddles resulted in an agreement at 11:45 a.m.
The negotiation hasn’t had that kind of frequency this year, but it has gained momentum since the talks moved from New York to Florida last week.
MLB has proposed raising the luxury tax threshold from $210 million last season to $214 million this year, bringing it to $220 million by 2026. Teams also want tax rates higher, which the union says would tend to act as a salary cap.
Players requested a $245 million threshold this year, rising to $273 million by last season.
The union wants to expand arbitration to include the top 35% by length of service of players with at least two major league service seasons and less than three, up from the 22% threshold in place since 2013.
The union has proposed that the pre-arbitration pool have $115 million distributed among 150 players, and management wants $20 million to be distributed among 30.
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