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Elephant Rumblings: Deadline day for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement

MLB news roundup

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Syndication: Arizona Republic
Feb 26, 2022; Tempe, AZ, USA; Pitcher, Joe Kelly, discusses free agency and the MLB lockout in an interview with Ryan Dempster (not pictured) at Innings Festival 2022 in Tempe Beach Park.
Megan Mendoza/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

Happy Monday, Athletics Nation!

Today is the day that the MLB set as the deadline to reach a new Collective Bargaining Agreement with the players union before the league starts cancelling games. Meetings are scheduled for today, the eighth consecutive day on which the MLB and MLBPA have held face-to-face negotiations to end the owner-imposed lockout.

Yesterday’s meetings were “productive” according to a league official, but publicly available details of the negotiations are scant, and apparently no formal proposals were exchanged. However, some ideas were reportedly bandied about, including a “ghost win” 12-team playoff and eliminating the qualifying offer in exchange for a modest increase in the luxury tax threshold.

During the first meeting on Saturday, the players association offered a new, “comprehensive” proposal. Included in the offer are a substantial lowering of “Super Two” arbitration eligibility from 75 to 35 percent of players in the 2-3 service year category. The players also reduced their demand to cut revenue-sharing funds altogether, save for some local revenue growth incentives. Much smaller concessions were made by the union on the competitive balance tax: the players offered to reduce the previously demanded tax thresholds by $2 million in the second through fourth years of a new agreement.

The proposal was poorly received by MLB and negotiations took a hostile turn as the second meeting of the day commenced. Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reported that the players were furious and considered walking away from the bargaining table. It does seem that the players offered some bigger concessions on Saturday and got the finger in return. None of this bodes well for getting a deal done today. Pray for a miracle?

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