Although there are still several other key gaps in the CBA negotiations, today’s bargaining quickly zeroed in on the institution of an International Draft, something the MLBPA is/was very much against. In response, the league offered a few paths for the players to circumvent making a decision on the draft today, but those three paths were rejected. And in return, as promised, the league cancelled another week of games, through April 13th.
Here’s the statement from the league:
MLB statement on additional cancellations: pic.twitter.com/1llKZXx7w8
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) March 9, 2022
NOTE: The union reportedly believed another counter-proposal was coming before these cancellations, but it never came.
For the Cubs, that means the new, four-game regular season opener against the Brewers at Wrigley Field and the short, two-game series against the Pirates on the road has been wiped off the calendar. That, on top of the already cancelled series against the Reds and Cardinals. Their new Opening Day, if nothing changes, would come against the Rockies in Colorado on April 14.
Worse, if these two sides are not able to come to some sort of surprise agreement … tonight, then two new issues will further complicate negotiations. For the players, that would be their effort to seek full pay and service time for a 162-game season, despite not playing 162 games. And for the owners, that would be the loss of the expanded postseason, which players have tied directly to playing a full 162-game season.
UPDATE: There is more to the story, however. Although the union rejected each of the league’s three proposals to go around their issues with the international draft, they didn’t just walk off the cliff blindly. Instead, they offered their own workaround, but the league “declined to respond to this counter,” per Ken Rosenthal.
The counterproposal players of the three options MLB proposed, per source: Parties have until Nov. 15 to agree to an international draft. If they don’t agree on it, then qualifying offer returns after 2022-23 offseason and international system also returns to status quo.
— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) March 9, 2022
Again, I cannot stress enough how much worse things just got.
UPDATE (6:19 CT): And the players finally respond.
Statement from the Major League Baseball Players Association: pic.twitter.com/XLnAvwkFpm
— MLBPA Communications (@MLBPA_News) March 10, 2022