It is Saturday, March 5, four days after MLB announced that the first week of regular season games were canceled.
MLB and the MLBPA have a meeting scheduled for tomorrow, per reports from the national guys on Twitter. Ken Rosenthal says the union plans on providing “written responses to all the league’s most recent proposals.”
After spending most of the winter saying don’t worry, they’ll get this worked out in early February, and if not then, at least early enough that games won’t be canceled, I’ve now become pretty pessimistic about the state of things. Recent reports have indicated that the union is willing to agree to a 14 team playoff field — up from the 12 they had previously agreed to — in exchange for movement on the Competitive Balance Tax, which continues to be the most contentious issue.
That said, given the report that four teams — the Reds, the Angels, the D-Backs and the Tigers — were opposed to the league’s last offer, which raised the CBT from $210M to $220M, and other teams were opposed to going any higher than $220M, I’m skeptical that the increased playoff field would result in more than nominal movement from the owners on the CBT.
Just a reminder...this is the fault of the owners. They implemented the lockout, which they could lift at any time. They chose to cancel games. And they have an offer on the table which is objectively unreasonable, particularly in its refusal to have the CBT increase at anything close to revenues.
If you want to blame someone for this situation, blame the owners.