MLB and MLBPA met today for the first lengthy session in...well, possibly since the lockout started a little over two months ago. The session was over five hours long, though the sides weren’t meeting together the entire time. Progress continues to be slow, per reports, though the two sides are meeting again on Tuesday.
Per the national guys on Twitter, MLB has bumped up their proposed bonus pool for pre-arbitration players to $20 million, to be divided among 30 players. That’s an increase of $5 million from their previous offer. Given that there are 30 teams pitching in — in this proposal, around $650,000 per team — the fact that there is such little movement on ownership’s side on this issue is perplexing.
MLB has also reportedly proposed increasing the number of teams in the draft lottery to four, rather than three, as previously proposed. The union has proposed eight teams.
The biggest sticking point right now — the Competitive Balance Tax — was apparently not addressed.
The union is apparently planning on providing their response to this proposal at Tuesday’s meeting. Progress will likely continue to be incremental until later in the week.
MLB has said that there needs to be a deal by February 28 if the regular season is to start on time. The union disagrees, of course, but nevertheless, the February 28 date is the one that seems to be circled on the calendar right now as the date to watch in regards to an agreement being reached.
Opening Day is March 31, so if a deal is done on February 28 and the lockout ends then, that would leave four and a half weeks for players to report, spring training to commence, and teams to sign free agents, make trades, and do everything else that normally would have happened over the past ten weeks.