11:43 p.m .: USA Today’s Bob Nightengale highlights the upcoming proposal. The league is not expected to address the service time structure during this session. MLB is expected to propose an increase in the league’s minimum wage to $ 600,000, with further increases up to $ 700,000 by the end of a potential CBA term, as well as changes to compensation / forfeiture of draft picks for signing free agents tagged with a qualifying offer.
10:42 am: Major League Baseball and MLB Players Association have scheduled a collective bargaining session for Thursday, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports (Twitter link). Notably, the MLB is expected to present a basic economic proposal to the union, marking the first development on the most controversial lockout issues since the league instituted the work stoppage on Dec. 2.
USA Today’s Bob Nightengale wrote yesterday that the league is preparing to make its proposal within the next two weeks. In a bit of a surprise, they will arrive at the earlier end of this timeline. Thursday’s conference will take place on video, tweets Athletic’s Evan Drellich.
The latest efforts to move forward on the basic economy before the expiration of the previous collective agreement proved unsuccessful, culminating in a seven-minute session in the afternoon of December 1. Going into that meeting, the league reportedly informed the MLBPA that they would only entertain the basic economy. discussions that did not involve changes in revenue sharing, eligibility for six years of free agency, and existing eligibility requirements (mostly three years of service) for arbitration. The union refused to agree to these terms, and the parties have been on hold since that point, with the MLBPA waiting for the league to come up with another proposal.
It remains to be seen whether the league’s offer will revive the talks in any meaningful way. It’s unclear how much the MLB’s next proposal differs from its previous iterations, to which the union has not responded favorably. (The MLB, of course, has been equally unhappy with the PA offers.) The union may not consider this week’s offer different enough from previous MLB presentations to move negotiations forward. Still, it’s at least notable that the parties are getting ready to talk to each other about the most important topics for the first time in nearly six weeks. The parties have met a few times since the lockdown began, but these discussions have been confined to points outside the core economy.
Spring practice games are scheduled for February 26. In all likelihood, parties will need to have a new CBA in place during the first half of next month to avoid any exhibition game cancellations. This will require closing the gap on a handful of key sticking points, such as service time structure, league minimum wage, competitive balance tax, playoff expansion, revenue sharing. and the designated universal hitter.