MLB reacts angrily to locked out players, season still on hiatus

NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball reacted angrily to the latest offer from locked-out players when negotiations resumed on Sunday, accusing the union of backtracking and showing no signs of a breakthrough to postpone the season derailed on the rails.

The bickering parties spoke for 95 minutes on the 95th day of the lockdown, largely reaffirming their positions to each other. Talks broke down Tuesday after nine days of negotiations in Jupiter, Fla., and commissioner Rob Manfred canceled the first two series of the season for each team, totaling 91 games.

It was the first meeting since then, in the first season delayed by a labor dispute since 1995. Manfred was at the MLB offices on Sunday but did not attend bargaining sessions.


The union followed the four-day break by putting many of its proposals in writing.

“We were hoping to see movement in our direction to give us more flexibility and get a deal done quickly,” MLB spokesman Glen Caplin said. “The players’ association chose to come back to us with a proposal that was worse than Monday night and which was not designed to move the process forward. On some issues they even backtracked. In short, we are at an impasse We will try to figure out how to react, but nothing in this proposal makes it easier.”

In trying to resolve baseball’s second-longest work stoppage, the parties have fallen far apart on the luxury tax, minimum wages and proposed bonus pool for players eligible for pre-arbitration. The union lowered its starting point for the $5 million bonus pool to $80 million, but left its luxury tax and minimum wage proposals unchanged.

The players declined to respond publicly to MLB, but maintained they had withdrawn their proposals to expand free agency and arbitration and decreased revenue sharing while reducing their demand on the bonus pool. an initial amount of $120 million. They also offered to accept advertising on uniforms and helmets.

Following the main session, Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem and Chief Union Negotiator Bruce Meyer held a one-on-one meeting. The players suggested the sides meet again on Monday, and MLB told the union it would come back with a decision on whether to meet.

Among the few areas with new proposals, players said a fast-track competition committee should include four union appointees, six management members and a referee. The group would consider rule changes no earlier than 2023 covering a 14-second pitch clock with no runners on base and 19 seconds with runners, limiting defensive changes and using larger bases, and they would be able to recommend changes during the off-season with 45 days notice for implementation.

MLB proposed last week that the committee include six management officials, two union representatives and a referee. Currently, management can only change the rules with the agreement of the union or unilaterally with one year’s notice.

The players said they wouldn’t allow the committee to consider a topic that MLB requested be included: robots for calling balls and batting.

The union has offered to increase the playoffs from 10 to 12, but said it was open to discussing management’s desire for 14 if MLB considered a “phantom win” in the first round, which is of no interest. not the management. The top seeds would open the best-of-five playoffs with a 1-0 series lead.

Players want to increase the luxury tax threshold from $210 last season to $238 million this year, $244 million in 2023, $250 million in 2024, $256 million in 2025 and $263 million in 2026 MLB is at $220 million in each of the next three seasons. , $224 million in 2025 and $230 million in 2026.

Tax rates would remain unchanged and direct amateur draft pick compensation for free agents would be eliminated.

The union lowered its plan for the pre-arbitration bonus pool by $85 million, but demanded annual increases of $5 million on the rest of the deal. MLB last offered $30 million, up from $25 million with no annual raise, and suggested the union orally announced a figure lower than $80 million when the sides discussed possible compromises on Monday. evening.

As part of an overall agreement, the players have agreed to withdraw their proposed salary arbitration expansion for players with at least two years of service but less than three.

Players kept their proposed minimum wage at $725,000 this year, $745,000 in 2023, $765,000 in 2024, and increases over the following two years based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Earners . The owners offered $700,000, with annual increases of $10,000.

For players assigned to minors and signing a second or greater big league contract, MLB is at a minimum of $99,400 this year, $101,400 in 2023, $103,400 in 2024, $105,500 in 2025 and $106,600 $ in 2026, while players are at $118,200, $121,400, and $124,700. , followed by increases in the cost of living.

For minors on a first big league contract, MLB is at $49,800 with annual increases of $1,000, while players are at $59,500 for this year, followed by $61,100, $62,700 and increases in the cost of living.

The players rejected MLB’s bid for an international draft and remained among the top six picks for the proposed amateur draft lottery, one more than MLB.

Players also want to cut international games offered by MLB which include Mexico City; Melbourne, Australia; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and South Korea.

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