The players and MLB met today to discuss the players’ counteroffer to the owners’ (meh) proposal from about ten days ago, and it remains to be seen how much today moved the needle in the CBA talks. A very small bright spot is that the sides met for over two hours in person, which doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a lot longer than they’ve met on these topics over the past multiple months combined.
Ope, update as I type:
MLB and the Players Association will meet again tomorrow. The pace has officially picked up.
— Hannah Keyser (@HannahRKeyser) January 24, 2022
That seems like a very good sign with respect to the timeline and how the players’ offer was received by MLB (maybe it was at least something they feel they can work with? That would be huge). Am I allowing myself to become optimistic? DON’T DO IT, BRETT!!!
As for the particulars, you can bet they will be leaking out over the next several hours/days, but Evan Drellich has a biggie right off the bat:
Source: MLBPA withdraws proposal to allow players to get to free agency before 6 years. Made modified revenue sharing proposal as well https://t.co/NGqnSCf55K
— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) January 24, 2022
If the players essentially took free agency off the table, then they’ve just made a significant concession. While getting free agency under six years in some form or fashion was undoubtedly one of their biggest and most unlikely asks, it also felt wholly appropriate given the way the sport has evolved over the last fifteen years. That is to say, I don’t think the players teed it up just to have leverage when they then agreed to take it off the table. That SHOULD move the needle for the owners.
Drellich adds that the players adjusted their request tied to revenue-sharing, but stuck to their request that arbitration begin after two seasons for all players (fair).
UPDATE: Here’s a little more on the revenue-sharing change:
By cutting revenue sharing, Union hopes to reduce the incentive for small-market teams to not compete and collect money anyway.
— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) January 24, 2022
UPDATE 2: Jeff Passan makes sure folks know it wasn’t all sunshine and roses:
At the risk of being Debbie Downer: Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves here. The meeting was contentious. There is a lot — a lot — left to work out before there’s a new labor deal. This still could take a while.
But the fact that it didn’t go backward when it could’ve? W.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 24, 2022
UPDATE 3: Much more here.