Spring Training Delay More Likely as Talks Stall

    • Pitchers and catchers are due to report to spring training on Feb. 15.
    • There is growing concern that Major League Baseball’s players and owners won’t get together by Valentine’s Day.

Pitchers and catchers are due to report to spring training on Feb. 15, but there is growing concern that Major League Baseball’s players and owners won’t get together by Valentine’s Day.

The MLB Players Association delivered a fresh proposal on Tuesday, but the two sides remain far apart on several core issues.

The key point of contention is that the MLBPA wants changes from the previous collective bargaining agreement, which expired Dec. 1, 2021, to increase pay to young players.

Under the previous CBA, player salaries were determined by league minimums for three years. Teams had an additional three years of player control, with salaries guided by the arbitration system. That basic structure is likely to remain intact going forward.

  • Players have proposed raising the minimum salary from $570,500 to $775,000 for first-year players, replacing the third league-minimum year with an arbitration year, and a bonus pool of $105 million for high-achieving players under league-minimum salaries.
  • The league has offered salaries of $615,000, $650,000, and $700,000 for the first three years, plus a $10 million bonus pool.
  • MLB has not signaled any willingness to negotiate on the number of years a player is eligible for arbitration or under team control.

More Potential Changes

MLB has a number of less contentious items on its wish list, including expanded playoffs, advertising space on uniform patches, and more special events.

Eventually the league wants to add two new teams, and the entrance fee could reach $2.2 billion.