What a Thursday it is, Athletics Nation.
April 14 is now the earliest we could see MLB players take the field, as after negotiation sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday, MLB and MLBPA could not come to terms with a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
This delay is a bit different than last week’s initial MLB-set deadline, as by Wednesday afternoon both sides had nearly met in the middle for much of the numbers-based elements of a new CBA. MLB adding on an international player draft to yesterday’s proposal turned what had again seemed like a promising series of exchanges into a further delay of the season. A similar last-minute addition of terms by MLB was part of what held up talks last week and caused the initial delay of the season, when they submitted rules changes into the CBA that had not been discussed prior. An international player draft has seemed like an inevitability since the last CBA was signed in 2016, but it had not entered the current bargaining in a major way until this week.
The Players Association’s hesitance to immediately agree to an international draft is by no means shocking. Even if it were to wait until 2024 to go into effect as proposed by MLB, there are many layers and impacts to a new player draft that need to be considered. The owners also tied the international draft to the union’s request to remove the qualifying offer and its associated compensation on the amateur draft. MLBPA’s need to review their options led to the owners providing an ultimatum, with a 162-game season in the balance:
1) International draft in exchange for eliminating direct draft pick compensation.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) March 9, 2022
2) status quo on both: No draft, qualifying offer system stays
3) Eliminate direct draft pick compensation, give players until Nov. 15, 2022 to agree to an international draft beginning in 2024.
The players provided a counter-offer rather than accepting any one of MLB’s three options, and the league immediately announced the further removal of games from the calendar, a statement that MLBPA took umbrage to as they wished to keep negotiating.
The response from MLB now adds complexity to negotiations going forward as we have hit the point where 162 games cannot be feasibly played within the now-available timespan for a season — barring major upheaval to the schedule post-CBA signing. This means that the amount of games played in 2022 and how players will be paid for those games becomes another piece that needs to be agreed upon in the CBA. This will be an added complication that will likely lead to further disagreement between the two sides and further delays to the season.
For now here’s how things stand:
- The Athletics would open the season on the road in Toronto, April 15. That also happens to be Jackie Robinson Day.
- There are currently 148 games on the A’s schedule. Some or all of the 14 missing games could be reinserted through double-headers or other schedule adjustments.
- The earliest Spring Training would start is March 18.
- MLB owners do not have a significant financial impact from the lockout until games scheduled for May are missed.
- MLB and MLBPA will continue talks this morning, starting with where they left off with MLBPA’s counterproposal.
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- Nicholson-Smith: MLB labour talks progress, but international draft remains an issue
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Best of Twitter
Players’ counter apparently came back too late for the league
To clarify: Union made overall counter, including proposals on int’l draft/QO, hours before deadline. PA’s written proposal about potentially deferring issue of int’l draft/QO came after league deadline, according to MLB. https://t.co/wSdAGdWGsA— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 10, 2022
This tweet is the first in a thread going into the effects of an international draft on the Dominican Republic according to David Ortiz
In a voice message sent to a group chat that has been widely shared in Dominican baseball circles, David Ortiz, perhaps the most influential baseball voice in the country, came out strongly against the international draft, according to a copy of the message obtained by ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 9, 2022
We are now 27 years into MLB’s latest expansion era
Happy birthday to @DBacks and @RaysBaseball!— Baseball Reference (@baseball_ref) March 9, 2022
On this day in 1995, baseball owners voted 28-0 to make the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Arizona Diamondbacks the 13th and 14th expansions teams in MLB history. pic.twitter.com/EkeqHHNnnB
A 67 year old A’s artifact, in pretty great condition
A throwback clip to the 90s
Can you name the former Athletic?
Can you name this player, using only their uniform numbers and achievements from our site? pic.twitter.com/4TeoeLiYTY— Baseball Reference (@baseball_ref) March 10, 2022
The A’s helped break some ground in this Women's History Month post