Lawyers for locked-out players arrived at Major League Baseball’s office for the resumption of negotiations on Saturday, just four days before the scheduled start of spring training workouts.
Bruce Meyer, the union’s head negotiator, arrived with two staff lawyers for the session. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday that management planned to make a new offer at the meeting.
This was just the fifth bargaining session on core economics since the ninth work stoppage in baseball history began Dec. 2, after the expiration of a five-year labor contract.
Some of the key areas in collective bargaining between Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Assn., as obtained by the Associated Press. This is only a partial list of bargaining topics:
MLB: Would keep existing system in which six seasons of major league service is required.
MLBPA: Would keep existing system, subject to agreement on its service time proposal.
FREE-AGENT DRAFT-PICK COMPENSATION
MLB and MLBPA agree to eliminate compensation, which has existed since 1976 and existed for qualified free agents since 2012.
MLB: Would retain current system for players with at least three years of service and less than six, plus the top 22% by service time with at least two years but less than three, the cutoff since 2013. The Super 2 class began in 1991 at 17%.
MLBPA: Would lower eligibility to two years of major league service, its level from 1974 through 1986, when it increased to three years.
PRE-ARBITRATION BONUS POOL
MLBPA: Proposed a new bonus pool for those not yet eligible for arbitration, who would split $100 million from central revenue, based on WAR, appearances on an all-MLB team and recognition such as best position player, best pitcher and best rookie.
MLB: Would agree to a new bonus pool, offering $10 million.
MLBPA: Saying this would address its allegations of improper service time manipulation, proposed rookie-eligible players be credited with an additional year of major league service for the top 20 at each position in each league by WAR, or the top seven, depending on position, and for top five rookie of the year, top three Rivera/Hoffman awards or first or second all-MLB team.
MLB: Proposed any rookie-eligible player with top-100 prospect status who accrues a full season of major league service would be eligible to earn his team extra amateur draft picks. MLBPA would accept in addition to its own proposal, but with modifications. MLB proposal includes potential picks in an international amateur draft, which MLBPA has not agreed to.
Threshold was $210 million in 2021, with tax rates of 20% for first offender, 30% for exceeding in consecutive years and 50% for exceeding in three or more consecutive years. Surcharge for exceeding $230 million and $250 million.
MLB: Proposed raising threshold to $214 million in 2022 and offered an option of a $100-million payroll minimum funded by a 25% tax on payrolls above $180 million. Tax threshold would rise to $220 million in 2026.
MLBPA: Proposed raising threshold starting at $245 million for the 2022 season and eliminating nontax penalties. Tax threshold would increase to $273 million in 2026.
MLB: Proposed an NBA/NHL-style draft lottery for top three selections.
MLBPA: Accepted the concept of a weighted lottery but would expand the number of teams to eight and make adjustments designed to incentivize competition.
MLB: Proposed raising it to $615,000 for players with less than a year of big league service, $650,000 for at least one but less than two and $700,000 for at least two. Each would rise $10,000 annually, to $640,000, $690,000 and $740,000 in 2026.
MLBPA: Proposed raising it from $570,500 to $775,000 in 2022 and gradually to $875,000 by 2026.
Both sides proposed raises in the minor league minimum for players with major league contracts, which in 2021 was $46,600 for a player signing his initial major league contract and $93,000 for a player signing a second or later major league contract.
MLB: Would expand postseason from 10 to 14 teams, with wild cards increasing from two per league to four. Division winner with best record in each league would advance directly to Division Series, and the other two division winners and wild-card teams would start in a best-of-three round. The division winner with the second-best record would choose its opponent from among the three lowest-seeded wild-card teams. The division winner with the third-best record would then get to pick from among the remaining two wild cards. The top wild card would face whichever team is left over after the division winners make their choices.
MLBPA: 12-team expanded playoffs and possible realignment to two divisions per league, subject to agreement on MLBPA economic proposals.
MLB has offered to accept MLBPA’s proposal to extend the designated hitter to the National League, subject to agreement on postseason expansion. The DH has been used in the American League since 1973 and was used in both leagues during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
ADVERTISEMENTS ON UNIFORMS
MLB: Proposed adding uniform advertising patches.
MLBPA: Would agree, subject to agreement on MLBPA economic proposals.
MLBPA: Proposed annual revenue sharing by clubs be lowered by $30 million.
MLB: Disputes the calculation in MLBPA proposal and says it will not agree to any changes in a system that has been largely in place since the 1997 agreement.
MLB has proposed an international draft, which the MLBPA has long opposed.
ON-FIELD RULES CHANGES
MLB proposed a joint committee, including at least four active players, to discuss potential on-field rule changes.