Obsessive CBA Watch: Negotiations Resume as the Zero Hour Approaches (UPDATES: It's Close)

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Obsessive CBA Watch: Negotiations Resume as the Zero Hour Approaches (UPDATES: It’s Close)

Chicago Cubs

If you’re just tuning in, the current Collective Bargaining Agreement between MLB’s owners and MLB players expires at midnight eastern tonight. Catch yourself up on the latest updates on those negotiations here, here, and here if you’ve missed anything – this post will assume you’ve got all of that.

Last night, the tune was “optimism”, and that hasn’t necessarily waned today as it sounds like the sides are settling in for a final push to try to get things done today:

Yet there are still nitty-gritty specific proposals being bounced around:

On that proposal there, the idea – I presume – would be to reduce the impact of a qualifying offer on the players, but leave in the theoretical competitive balance elements (i.e., smaller market teams have a slight advantage when pursuing big-time free agents). In case you’re wondering, however the revenue-sharing formulas are reworked in this CBA, the Cubs will almost certainly still always qualify in the upper tier of teams, subject to revenue sharing (and thus, in proposals like this, they would be among the teams getting stung (much like, for one example, they will never qualify for a competitive balance draft pick)).

Jeff Passan writes about the negotiations, and, as others have, puts things in a “they’d be too dumb not to get a deal done and risk squandering goodwill” light. A deal is still more likely than not, but at this point, I’m just hoping no one does anything crazy (like a lockout) if a deal can’t quite be completed by the end of the night. Just agree to keep negotiating, and let teams and players operate under the old agreement until the new one is finalized.

The clock is ticking. I’ll keep following along and updating you as needed.

UPDATE: Still no word floating around about imminent lockout plans, so at least the worst case scenario isn’t yet percolating.

Ken Rosenthal mentions a possible concession the owners are getting:

That would be a significant change to the system as it exists now, and something much closer to a draft, at least in terms of how much each team could spend, and how limited the returns would be for the international amateurs (the guys the MLBPA was trying to protect by opposing a draft in the first place). Maybe the cap would be sufficiently high that it’s less of a concern.

UPDATE: Good, good:

UPDATE: If true, it would be nice to see things checked off the list:

Of course, even then there’s still some hedging there – “close,” “parameters,” “believed.” But I’ll still take it.

UPDATE: OK, definitely good signs:

Whether it’s a deal or some kind of agreed extension, I’d be happy with either one tonight.

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.