MLB Lockout Day 8: The Proposal That Never Came, What Moves Can Be Made, More

This day last week was the first full day of the lockout, which was pretty easy to “get through,” since the freshness provided plenty of curiosity. But I knew that wouldn’t last, because eventually you get to a place like today, where it’s just … boring. I have some things to share here on the state of the lockout, but if you’re looking for word of even minor movement – actual negotiations – you will be disappointed. That has not started yet.

⇒ Ian Happ was on 670 The Score today discussing, among other things, the state of the lockout. He confirmed that no firm economic proposal ever came to the players from the owners last week (which squares with earlier reports that the owners only ever went as far as to say, yeah, we’ll make an offer but only if you take critical issues X, Y, and Z off the table entirely). From his appearance:

“One of the most disappointing parts about the trip to Dallas … is the owners didn’t make one economic proposal the entire time we were there,” Happ said on 670, despite the fact that the players had made offers. “And we didn’t get anything back. We didn’t get anything that said, ‘OK, here’s our proposal in the same realm; here’s how we get to a conclusion and move forward.’ Without having that, anybody who’s been through a negotiation, whether it’s a car or a house or anything, you don’t just keep giving numbers and have the other person say, ‘no.’ You don’t just keep moving off your position. That’s a horrible way to negotiate. We’re just disappointed that there was no economic proposal brought forth by that side in Dallas.”

⇒ As we’ve said before, it doesn’t seem like the owners were particularly interested in striking a deal before the lockout unless it was view as an overwhelming “win.” They reportedly wanted the following completely off the table before they’d even make a counter-proposal to the players: earlier free agency and arbitration, a higher luxury tax threshold, and changes to revenue-sharing between teams.

⇒ I’m aggravated all over again. Unsurprised, though, and my expectations for serious negotiations before mid-January are wholly extinguished. It just isn’t going to happen. Merry bleeping Christmas and a happy bleeping New Year.

⇒ As for transactions during the lockout, our understanding of precisely what can and cannot be done is evolving, and here’s another layer to add:

Ken Rosenthal offers his ideas to bridge the key gaps in the CBA talks, and they mostly all sound correct to me (raise the luxury tax and reduce the penalties for it; mostly leave revenue-sharing alone; grant free agency at six years of service time OR five years service time if the player is already over 30 years old; increase the size of the Super Two pool in arbitration; raise minimum salaries; expand the playoffs). The one that I struggle with, though, is the idea that draft ordering/draft lottery can and should be tied to market size. I’m absolutely being a Cubs fan homer – they’ll never be a small-market club – but I just hate the idea that a draft system would be in place that effectively moves them back in the draft order every year.

⇒ More here at The Athletic on the MLB decision to scrub player images and likeness from official web properties, including the directives to MLB dot com beat reporters to try to limit any mention of 40-man players. In case you wondered why they weren’t tweeting much.

⇒ Some players are using the lockout to get really into crypto and NFTs:

https://twitter.com/metafansnft/status/1467929063469764612

⇒ Yes, that’s Anthony Rizzo in the middle there. Fine, fine, BRB gonna get me the NFTs of his wall/tarp catches.

written by

Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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