There’s no new collective bargaining agreement between the players and league, at least, not yet. Yesterday’s owner-imposed and arbitrary deadline has come and gone, but no games will be canceled. Instead, the two sides will continue to negotiate today up until an extended deadline of 5pm eastern. I’m sure that can be pushed back as well, if need be.
While we wait for the reporters staking out the negotiations at Roger Dean Stadium to tweet out the latest, allow me to fill you in on some of last night’s reporting, along with some other Yankees-related news:
Collective Bargaining Issues Update
- Super Two Eligibility: There’s mixed reporting here. Bob Nightengale says that the MLBPA is no longer seeking a higher percentage of Super Two eligible players, whereas Evan Drellich reports that the union would consider it depending on other aspects of negotiations. The PA has previously proposed a bump from the 22 percent of players with more than two years of service time to be eligible for arbitration, but the league has been steadfast in not wanting a change here.
- There will be a pre-arbitration bonus pool, but for how much? Owners are offering a $25 million pool, which is much lower than the union’s ask. There’s a sizable gap to bridge here. The union was seeking $115 million last week.
- League minimum salary: MLB offered a $675,000 minimum salary, with $10,000 increases annually. This is a slight bump from before, but still not particularly close to the PA’s ask, which was $775,000 to start last week.
- Luxury tax: There’s some movement here, but not enough to make any Yankees fans excited about significantly increased spending. Nor the players union, in all likelihood. Per Drellich, the initial threshold would start at $220 million this year and go to $230 million by 2026. There wouldn’t be any changes to the tax rates. While this may be viewed as a concession by the league, it’s not much of one, if at all.
- Expanded Playoffs: According to Nightengale, both sides agreed to add two more teams to the playoff field, although the owners apparently “need” 14, says Buster Olney.
Derek Jeter steps down from Marlins
This was a bit of a surprise yesterday. Jeter was still under contract through this year, but decided to step down. If you read between the lines, the issue seems relatively straightforward: Marlins’ ownership, namely Bruce Sherman, was not as committed to winning as Jeter was. There are some reports floating around about Sherman reneging on a $15 to $20 million payroll increase for 2022, coinciding with pre-lockout talks with free agent Nick Castellanos.
If these reports about Sherman are true, it’s yet another shameful display by an MLB owner. The Marlins have done a really good job improving player development with Jeter at the helm, and in particular have a very promising pitching staff. Supplementing that with increased spending on free agents could have helped the Marlins take the next step.
Yankees hire Hensley Meulens as assistant hitting coach
It was only a few years ago that Meulens was in the running to be the Yankees’ next manager, only to come up short against current skipper Aaron Boone. Now, he actually will be in the Yankees’ dugout, and will work alongside the team’s other hitting coaches, Dillon Lawson and Casey Dykes. Meulens brings the former player viewpoint along that the team clearly wanted for this position. That’s a big reason they hired Eric Chavez beforehand. Plus, Meulens brings plenty of prior coaching experience.
It’s important to note that Meulens is extremely overqualified for this role. He was the Giants’ hitting coach for eight years, their bench coach for two, and the Mets’ bench coach as recently as 2020. Meulens should have been a manager by now (ahem, Yankees). Alas.