Optimism Fades for MLB Deal

    • MLB and the MLBPA failed to reach a deal on Tuesday.
    • A late-night bargaining session on Monday had fueled optimism.

Any optimism from Monday’s late-night bargaining session was squashed on Tuesday, as MLB and its players association were unable to strike a deal. 

The MLBPA unanimously agreed not to accept the league’s final proposal, and the two sides remained far apart on several core economic issues — and couldn’t even agree on the tone of Tuesday’s meetings. 

Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the cancellation of the first week of the 162-game regular season on Tuesday.

MLB told reporters that the “MLBPA had a decidedly different tone today and made proposals inconsistent with the previous discussions.”

The union disagreed, claiming their stance has been consistent throughout negotiations.

  • The MLBPA proposed a minimum salary of $725,000, while the league was at $675,000.
  • The union wanted a pre-arbitration bonus pool of $85 million with annual $5 million increases.
  • The union is pushing to raise the competitive balance tax threshold to $238 million this year, with increases pushing it to $263 million by 2026.

Take It or Cancel It

MLB made what it characterized as a final best offer around 3:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday. The league had said that regular-season games would have to be canceled if the two sides could not reach an accord by 5 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

The offer made no change to the competitive-balance tax threshold, which would remain at $220 million through 2024 and then rise to $230 million in 2026. Its arbitration bonus pool grew just $5 million to $30 million, and its minimum salary proposal was $700,000, with an annual $10,000 increase.

The league said on Monday it would be willing to lose a month’s worth of games.