Happy Tuesday, Athletics Nation!
While we may not be out of the woods yet, things are progressing in negotiations between MLB and the MLBPA better than at any prior point in the lockout. The two sides have convened in Jupiter FL at Roger Dean Stadium, the usual spring home of the Marlins and Cardinals. Bargaining is set to happen daily throughout the week as a February 28 deadline that impacts Opening Day grows ever closer.
Expecting a deal on day one of what will likely be a full week of meetings would be foolhardy, but results have trended well when compared to the last two and a half months. First and probably most promisingly, the two sides met for an extended time. Whereas the February 17 session only lasted a scant fifteen minutes, Monday’s had an initial seventy minutes of discussion before a three hour break for each side to regroup. The rest of the time together was brief, but it left us with an idea of where things stand before negotiations continue today.
The big break for MLB to make, changes to the structure of Competitive Balance Tax, didn't happen today, but some strides were made to get closer to the MLBPA’s last proposal. The league added more to their offers of a bonus pool for pre-arbitration players, and offered another team to a potential draft lottery — though the pre-arb pool figure is still about $95M away from the Players Association’s ideal, and the players also want eight teams in the lottery rather than MLB’s proposed four teams. The league also dropped the previous asks of Minor League player reductions and lowering the amount of times players can be optioned.
The MLBPA will present their counter-proposal today, and hopefully steady progress will continue throughout the week. Will there be resolution on all matters this afternoon? Not likely. We can hope that players will be finally talking to teams again and scrambling to organize flights to FL and AZ by the end of the week.
- Kawahara: Why the A’s might be MLB’s busiest team once owners’ lockout ends ($)
- Lockard: A’s spring minor-league mini-camp roster: 1 note on 33 players, from Tyler Soderstrom to Max Muncy to Eric Thames ($)
- Petriello: The moustache that ended a HOF career
- Akers: A’s have offers on at least 4 potential Las Vegas stadium sites
MLB News & Interest
- Rogers: MLB, players’ union still far apart after latest meeting yields no game-changer in CBA negotiations
- Franco: MLB offers $5MM Increase In Pre-Arbitration Bonus Pool In Lates CBA Proposal; League No Longer Pursing Authority To Shrink Minor League Rosters
- Shea: MLB owners, players take baby steps on opening day of baseball’s make-or-break week ($)
- Schoenfield: Did someone say expanded MLB playoffs? We find the perfect postseason format
- Baccellieri: How ’Sex and the City’ Sent Me Down a Fake Baseball Rabbit Hole ($)
- Ghiroli: The comebacker and the comeback: How a Rays minor leaguer kept going after a terrifying injury ($)
- Stark: What would happen if baseball kills the shift? ($)
- Brisbee: What Major League Baseball will be like in 2052 ($)
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter
Will the cruelty of the lockout never cease?
In a moment of irony, reporters are locked out of our workroom. The Florida sunset is beautiful, though.— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) February 21, 2022
You ever look through some old baseball cards?
Going through some cards & this beauty popped up. Don’t know if I’ve ever seen this before. Not sure what happened to that @JustinVerlander fella but I sure hope he didn’t let just one outing discourage him. Felt like he had a good chance at a CY or 2. Hell, maybe even an MVP ♂️ pic.twitter.com/2eC1Yv4od1— Dallas Braden (@DALLASBRADEN209) February 21, 2022
Get to know Kotsay a little bit more
We all know Rickey could run, but for Black History Month, don’t forget his defence!