Yesterday, MLB and the players negotiated for more than 16 hours to reach an agreement on a new collective agreement. 13 rounds of negotiations took place, but without an agreement.
Of course, you will have noticed that we are now in March and the February 28 deadline is behind us. However, because progress has been made, Rob Manfred has agreed to extend the deadline to 5 p.m. this afternoon to reach an agreement. There will be negotiations starting this morning.
What is encouraging is that since late last night, compromises are starting to be made more and more by both parties. For example? We feel that MLB is about to accept a playoff format with only 12 teams instead of 14.
As I wrote last night, this was a major point of contention in recent bargaining sessions. In fact, yesterday was the main battle horse.
But as I said, nothing is settled. The luxury tax threshold, minimum wage and money pool for players not yet eligible for arbitration are still to be negotiated.
However, the bosses have reportedly agreed not to have too big penalties for clubs who want to exceed the luxury tax. As for the players, they seem to have given up on their demands to have more players with access to arbitration sooner.
Does that mean there will be an agreement? Not necessarily since there are still issues, but for the first time in a long time, I believe – a little – in a 162-game season starting on time.
But obviously, if we start getting into bigger debates such as limiting special defenses, we are not out of the woods.
The players currently have the feeling that the owners really want to come to an agreement. Is the end of negotiations imminent?
The answer by 5 p.m. this afternoon.