12:28 PM: The league received a new counter-proposal from the MLB, Tweets Marley Rivera from ESPN.
10:43 am: Ken Rosenthal athlete Tweets That, with disputes over the international draft and eligible bid now resolved, the association is preparing to submit a “complete proposal” to the union. As of this writing, the MLB had not opposed the final proposal received yesterday by the MLBPA.
10:29 am: Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association have reached an interim agreement on the international draft, ESPN’s Jeff Bassan reports (Twitter theme). The parties have set a July 25 deadline for detailing the international draft that will take effect from 2024. If an agreement is reached on the draft by July 25, the qualified bid system and associated draft pick compensation will be eliminated. If the two sides do not reach an agreement on the draft, the qualifying bid system will remain in place – as will the existing international amateur free agency structure.
While this is a shy step from an agreement to actually implement the draft itself, it is nonetheless a major obstacle that was removed in the way of ratification of a new collective bargaining agreement. A row over the league’s desire to swap out the qualifying bid system for an international draft yesterday derailed talks and led commissioner Rob Manfred to postpone the opening day until April 14. Today, with a November 15 deadline for approval of the draft instead of the proposed July 25 deadline.
With the plays surrounding the implementation of the theoretical international draft and the qualifying bid system now on the side, it appears, on the surface, that the focus could turn again to the core economic issues that were the core of the recent negotiations. While the international draft was billed as a sticking point yesterday and received much of the attention, there are still some gaps to fill in key economic issues such as competitive equilibrium tax (welfare) thresholds, the newly proposed bonus pool for pre-judging players, and to a lesser extent on the league minimum salary.
As of yesterday afternoon, the MLBPA has dropped its requests for new CBT thresholds to $232 million in 2022, $235 million in 2023, $240 million in 2024, $245 million in 2025 and $250 million in 2026. $230 million, $232 million, $236 million, $240 million and $242 million during those years. In essence, the two sides are facing gaps of $2 million, $3 million, $4 million, $5 million and $8 million each in that five-year period.
There is a broader controversy in the pre-arbitration bonus pool, with the union yesterday reducing its offer to $65 million (likely with the same $5 million annual increase it previously requested). Meanwhile, the property faced a stable $40 million pool that would not increase at all over the CBA’s five-year tenure. That $25 million gap is ostensibly large, although it’s only $833,000 per team — hardly more than the new league minimum salary that will be enforced.
On this note, MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes reported yesterday that the MLBPA has lowered the league’s proposed minimum salary to $710,000 — narrowing a $25,000 gap to just a $10,000 gap between the MLB’s proposed $700,000 minimum. . Both parties agreed that the minimum salary would increase by $70,000 over the five-year life of the financial appropriation agreement, so the difference at this point depends only on this small difference in the starting point. Of all the issues, this appears to be the simplest bridge to bypass.
It’s hard not to be discouraged by the progress surrounding what has emerged as a major impediment, but optimism should still be tempered. Gaps in the CBT threshold, and in particular, the reward pool for players before refereeing, remain relatively prominent, and there is no indication yet of how far MLB will go in its next proposal. Additional obstacles are also likely to arise. Few would have expected the international draft to play such a prominent role before this week.
A pair of issues that shouldn’t act as an obstacle, as Derkis reported (via Twitter), are advertising patches on uniforms and athletics earnings sharing status. Yesterday’s MLBPA proposal agreed to allow player uniforms to be advertised, and the federation also agreed to reinstate athletics as a revenue-sharing recipient. Oakland did not receive revenue-sharing money in 2021 or in 2020. They saw their share drop in 2017-2019, under previous CBA terms – a fine imposed due to questions about whether the team invested that money enough. on the product on the pitch and whether they did their best to secure a new stadium.
Time will tell what the latest show brings to the owners, but even the mild optimism is a welcome change from last night’s run. When the two sides finally come to an agreement, the gates can open hastily. Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci said in an appearance on MLB Network this morning that the free agency will likely reopen the same day an agreement is reached, for example (Twitter link via Jon Morosi of the MLB Network). It is also worth noting that Jason Stark is an Athletic player chirp This morning, the league is still seeing the potential for the 162-game season.
It would be too early to say an agreement is imminent, but the breach from yesterday’s most prominent roadblock is a breath of fresh air as the increasingly stagnant shutdown reaches its 99th day.
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