MLB Pushes Back Deadline, Negotiations Heating Up

    • MLB and the MLBPA negotiated past midnight on Monday
    • The league said earlier it was willing to lose a month of games.

On MLB’s self-imposed deadline day, the two sides negotiated from the morning until the wee hours of the next day, making real progress after months of stalemate. A new deadline was reportedly set for 5 p.m. ET Tuesday.

Early in the day, the league reportedly told players association representatives that it is willing to cancel a month’s worth of games.

The two sides are working to bridge gaps on major economic issues, including: 

  • Minimum player salaries
  • How many players are eligible for arbitration
  • The size of a new bonus pool for pre-arbitration players
  • How many teams would be included in a new draft lottery designed to discourage tanking
  • The threshold for crossing the “competitive balance tax” line for player payrolls

They did appear to agree on a 12-team postseason – up from 10 last season – and penalties for crossing the competitive balance threshold, which will be similar to last season’s.

Spring Draining

The two sides have been meeting daily in Florida, with commissioner Rob Manfred recently joining the talks.

The MLBPA floated the possibility of walking away from talks after making significant concessions on Saturday, only to have owners once again reject their offer. 

MLB moved toward the players on Monday on several issues including the competitive balance tax and the bonus pool. The league had made only small, incremental concessions prior to Sunday.

The league may still allow for a full, 162-game regular season if the two sides can reach a deal in the coming days.

Any deal will have to be approved by 23 of the 30 owners.