If you missed today’s chat, the transcript is below today’s notes:
Wednesday means it’s chat day, and while in a normal year we’d have plenty to discuss about spring training by now, 2022 has been far from normal thus far. Not that any year in recent memory has been, but I digress. At the very least, the league and union have met every day this week, and will continue to do so, with the hope of striking a new CBA and to start the regular season on time.
We can discuss the league and union’s proposals, Paul O’Neill’s number retirement, or anything else that’s on your mind today at noon. As always, the question queue at the bottom of this post is open so you can submit your questions before the chat gets underway at 12pm eastern. In the meantime, since we haven’t done this yet at the blog, I figured it would be good to summarize the status of some of the key labor issues at stake, according to reporting from Evan Drellich and Jeff Passan:
- Arbitration (Super Two Status): The union dropped its ask from 80% to 75% of players with two to three years of service to become eligible for arbitration. The league does not want this to change from the status quo of 22% of players and hasn’t shown a willingness to budge.
- Pre-arbitration bonus pool: MLB agreed to a bonus pool for pre-arbitration eligible players based on a mutually agreed upon WAR metric. However, the two sides are far apart on how much the pool should be, with the owners proposing $20M and the players at $115M.
- Minimum salary: MLBPA proposal includes minimum salary of $775K, with $30k increases annually. This is a slightly higher ask than the union proposed previously because they lessened their proposals elsewhere (Super Two status, for instance). The league wants the minimum to be $630k, or fixed at $615k, $650k, and $725k based on years of service.
- Draft lottery: MLB (top four) and the union (top seven) are negotiating the amount of first round picks to enter a lottery, similar to what the NBA does.
- Draft pick compensation: The league would eliminate the forfeiture of draft picks tied to signing qualified free agents. The teams that lose those free agents would still be granted a pick though.
- Luxury Tax: No proposals this week. Last time this issue arose, there were massive gaps. The league wants to create stiffer penalties for exceeding the tax threshold, and only wants the artificial cap to increase to $222M by 2026. The players are proposing an uptick to $273M by 2026. MLB needs to budge here. The threshold is currently $210M, and has barely increased over the last decade or so in spite of exploding revenues.
Again, the queue for questions is open below. Send your questions now, or stop by at noon for the start of the chat.