MLB Lockout Day 97: Another "Deadline" Day, as Negotiations Carry On Quietly (UPDATES)

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MLB Lockout Day 97: Another “Deadline” Day, as Negotiations Carry On Quietly (UPDATES)

Chicago Cubs

I can lead this post off with good news (no, not THAT good news): we have heard barely anything at all today about the meetings between the players and owners as they negotiate the Collective Bargaining Agreement and try to avoid MLB’s new “deadline” for cancelling more games. If there is actually going to be progress, it’s probably for the best that there aren’t breathless reports about this or that or every little intentional leak for leverage.

So that’s why I haven’t had a post on this yet today, despite it being potentially a critical day in the lockout. That, and my general pessimism that a deal will actually get done.

But we’re starting to approach the evening hours, and if this becomes another situation where eventually there ARE lots of updates, I wanted to have a place to start sharing them. Thus, this post.

As an initial matter, here’s roughly where things stand (read these as pessimistically as possible if you want to guard your heart):

(That was all known as of this morning *except* for the potential offer to up the bonus pool if the players go with 14-team playoff format.)

UPDATE (7:13pm ET): The implication here is that the sides have done a lot of talking, and now MLB wants to submit an official offer for the players to consider, having ALREADY been informed by the players how they might respond:

Sounds like I’m putting on the pot of coffee again this week:

UPDATE (8:05pm ET): A non-update update, just to confirm that the talks are still happening and the leaks are still non-existent:

UPDATE (8:10pm ET): Just saw this article from Chelsea Janes, which takes the temperature (general tone is still not optimistic, but not ruling out the possibility of a deal), and also confirms that the talks are still happening and there are no meaningful leaks. That is partly because of this humorous section:

Leaked details of offers and the resulting commentary on social media have recently frustrated those in the room — particularly some on MLB’s side — who felt outside pressure was changing inside outcomes. This was especially true a week ago, when the sides talked late into the night.

On the one hand, people shouldn’t overreact to incomplete details that they see leaked out. On the other hand, if your offer isn’t good enough to stand up to some tweets? It probably wasn’t a good offer to begin with.

UPDATE (8:18pm ET): Ok, some numbers:

Those are finally some KINDA decent luxury tax numbers. But those mentioned strings – and the rest of the deal – are still a black box. My guess is, to get that CBT number that high means there are some super owner-friendly terms in the rest of the deal that maybe the players accept, maybe they don’t.

UPDATE (9:14pm ET): Some details from Bob Nightengale, who does tend to have good owner sources:

On their face, these are not bad numbers. But this is obviously a very small part of the deal, and my guess is this comes with 14 teams in the playoffs.

UPDATE (9:34 ET): Many more details:

It seems like the owners are finally making some more reasonable moves. On its face, this stuff does not look terrible to me.

UPDATE (9:48pm ET): So, this isn’t quite as high as I was envisioning that tip-top new tier, which I expect to have penalties that make it like a hard cap:

It’s not terrible, mind you. So far, nothing we’ve seen in this new offer is terrible. Which makes me suspicious!

UPDATE (10:07pm ET): Posturing, perhaps, but also possible there are truly terms in there that look bad to the players that we can’t quite see yet:

UPDATE (10:20pm ET): It’s only a 12-team playoff proposal:

Honestly, this was the big shoe I was waiting for because I figured it was gonna *surprise* be for 14 teams. It’s not. So, again, FROM WHAT WE HAVE SEEN, this is a dramatically improved offer, and one that borders on actually reasonable.

UPDATE (10:57pm ET): Optimism-ish, but also at least one big issue still:

It’s not a surprise that the International Draft is seen as a major ask by the owners, because it fundamentally changes an entire portion of the player-acquisition world. Currently, even in a capped system, international prospects get to choose where to sign. In a draft, they no longer have that choice. Though MLB has claimed that their draft proposal would generate more money for international prospects, I think long term it’s pretty clearly a cost-control mechanism. So the players are hesitant to give up future freedoms for their future members.

UPDATE (Michael taking over, 11:24 ET): Looks like we really are due for a long night, with another MLB proposal on its way:

UPDATE (12:02 ET): Another deadline … comes and goes? I guess? According to Nightengale, we’re technically extended through sometime tomorrow afternoon, though it’s unclear if that really means much of anything. So far, none of the deadlines actually have (at least, not outside of the owners self-imposing them). Then again, just because they’re arbitrary doesn’t mean they don’t have some effect.

UPDATE (12:08 ET): It’s not entirely clear if this means both sides are going home, but it certainly seems like it. If I had to guess, I’d say you can safely go to bed, with dreams and hopes of a deal (that could preserve 162 games) tomorrow.

UPDATE (12:14 ET): Yes, it is over for the night. See you all tomorrow. Cross those fingers.

UPDATE (12:20 ET): Despite the fact that Bob Nightengale may have – once again – been a tad off, I still get the sense that nothing is expected to be completed this evening.

UPDATE (12:24 ET): How does the saying go? Just when you think you are out, they PULL YOU BACK IN.

UPDATE (12:45 ET): If I had to guess, I think the players are keen on keeping the 14-team playoff format and the international draft as big bargaining chips for five years down the line. That’d be a smart move, but I wonder if they’ll be able to get this one done without compromising on one or the other.

Update (2:01 ET): Still going.

UPDATE (3:09AM ET): That’s a wrap:


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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.