MLB Lockdown schedule: League makes second push for mediation

Spring training is upon us.

Big League camps were scheduled to open last week with the arrival of shooters and hunters. It didn’t happen because the MLB shutdown is ongoing.

The exhibition listing has also been postponed and will start no later than March 5th.

MLB and the players union remain estranged in business negotiations, and the risk of delaying the regular season grows with each passing day.

Where do those negotiations stand and how did we get here?

Follow the shutdown timeline, from the latest news to no-start negotiations from late last summer.

Little movement in MLB talks, union meets again

February 22 2022 – MLB and the union are meeting for a second day in a row in Florida but talks are yielding little progress toward a new labor agreement.

The federation is submitting a counterproposal to the league’s bid on Monday, which covers issues including a player’s minimum salary, draft lotteries and the percentage of players eligible to referee after two seasons. The talks do not include the luxury tax, which is the most important issue in the business battle.

According to multiple reports, the university is submitting a second application for federal mediation, which is again rejected by the union.

MLB and the union are set to meet again on Wednesday, but one report describes it Both sides “disappointed” Through the latest proposals of others.

MLB is making minor adjustments to a pair of proposals

Feb 21 2022 – The MLB and the players’ union meet in Jupiter, Florida as business negotiations continue. The two sides are said to have been in the same place for at least four hours, having met twice, with lengthy separate meetings between them.

MLB slightly amends its proposal for a bonus pool for producing players prior to arbitration (up to $5 million to $20 million) and also increases its draft lottery proposal to include four teams, up from three.

There is still a huge gap between the league and the federation on both issues. Last week, the association increased the bonus pool proposal to $115 million (from $100 million) and proposed an eight-band lottery project.

The two sides don’t bring up the bigger issue, the luxury tax, but they will meet again on Tuesday. The end of this month is seen as the deadline for a new business deal for the opening day to happen as scheduled on March 31st.

MLB postpones first week of spring games

February 18 2022 – MLB is officially announcing the postponement of the first week of spring practice games amid the ongoing shutdown. The exhibition listing will start no later than March 5th.

A postponement looked increasingly likely as the lockdown continued and MLB and players diverged in business negotiations. The opening date for the Cactus League and Grapefruit League has been set for February 26.

The MLB also announced that the next negotiating session with the players’ union is Monday, and the two sides are set to meet each day next week as they look to work out a new working agreement.

MLB, Players Association meeting lasts 15 minutes

Feb 17 2022 – MLB and the players’ union are meeting in New York, although little progress has been made in the business negotiations. The meeting ends in 15 minutes.

The federation amends its proposal for a bonus pool for productive players prior to arbitration from $110 million to $115 million, in exchange for limiting the number of players who will be eligible to arbitrate after two years of major league service time.

With the two sides still far apart on the luxury tax threshold and other key issues, the start of the show’s slate – set to begin on February 26 – is likely to be pushed back, and the start on time for the regular season is in jeopardy.

Spring training is officially delayed

February 15 2022 – The first official report from shooters and hunters arrives for several big league camps as the shutdown continues. Now delayed the start of spring training.

The spring training games are due to begin in two weeks, but are increasingly likely to be postponed due to the downtime.

Season delay looms with little progress in business talks

February 12 2022 – The MLB and the players’ union meet in New York as the league presents its latest proposal. The 130-page proposal includes slight increases from previous offers to the luxury tax limit – the biggest issue in the negotiations – and the minimum player salary.

Reportedly, the proposal is weakening the union, and the lack of much progress at the meeting all but officially means that spring training will be delayed. Pitchers and fishing are scheduled to be reported in the coming days.

Rob Manfred pledged a “good faith” proposal at the next meeting

February 10 2022 – Manfred tells reporters at the quarterly owners meetings in Florida that the MLB will make the Players Association a counterproposal at Saturday’s scheduled meeting.

“We’ll be making a positive, bona fide suggestion in an effort to move the process forward,” Manfred says. “It’s a good suggestion.”

Whether the MLB proposal ensures progress in the negotiations appears to be critical. Manfred adds that there is “no change” in the state of spring training, but a delay appears inevitable given that the teams are due to report next week.

The start of the regular season on schedule is also at risk. The opening day has been set for March 31.

Saturday’s scheduled meeting will be the first between the league and the federation in more than a week.

The union rejects the association’s mediation request, and both are statements

February 4, 2022 The federation rejects the MLB’s proposal for a federal broker to join the negotiations, one day after the university submitted the application.

“The clearest way to reach a just and timely agreement is to return to the negotiating table,” a union statement said in part. “The players are willing to negotiate.”

The MLB will later issue its own statement.

“It is clear that the most productive path forward is the engagement of a neutral third party to help bridge the gaps and facilitate an agreement,” the statement read, in part.

The union’s refusal to mediate is the biggest indication yet that spring training will be postponed, if not the start of the regular season, as the two sides remain far apart in negotiations.

Owners will not file a counteroffer, and seek federal mediation

3 February 2022 – Amid fast-paced progress in negotiations, MLB is seeking help from a federal mediator to help resolve disagreements with the players’ union, ESPN’s Jeff Bassan reports.

This news comes two days after the union’s latest economic proposal. MLB chooses to seek mediation and not make a counteroffer to the union’s latest proposal.

The request does not guarantee that mediation will become the next step as the union has to sign a third party joining the negotiations.

Spring training delay looms after recent closing talks

February 1, 2022 – MLB and the union are meeting for the fourth time since the lockdown began but are making “little progress,” according to multiple reports.

In the 90-minute meeting, the federation slightly modified its proposal regarding manipulation of service time and the set of bonuses for eligible players prior to arbitration. There is no movement on major economic issues including the luxury tax and minimum player salaries.

The teams are scheduled to submit to spring training in two weeks. With the two sides still far apart on several key issues, the chance of starting camp on time seems remote.

MLB, union exchange proposals to increase minimum wage

January 25 2022 – The league and players come together for the second day in a row, a one-hour meeting at which the minimum salary in the Major League is discussed. The league proposes an increase of up to $615,000 (from the 2021 figure of $570,500).

The union is proposing $750,000, the highest increase in the minimum wage in nearly two decades.

Industry revenue increased about 53 percent from 2012 through 2019, reaching an estimated $10.4 billion in 2019 (pre-pandemic).

During that time of record revenue growth, minimum salaries were not increased by more than 5.42 percent from season to season. This came in 2016-2017, the last time a new collective bargaining agreement was negotiated.

Related: Lockout FAQ: What can either side agree to quickly

It’s a small contributor to the fact that in recent seasons, the average major league salary (pre-pandemic) has fallen for the first time since the 1980s collusion.

MLB meets in person for the first time during lockdown

January 24, 2022 – MLB and the players’ union are meeting for the second time since the lockdown began – and the first time in person – with a two-hour meeting in New York.

During the meeting, the federation drops its proposal to shorten the service time needed to make players eligible for free agency, leaving the condition at six years, while also amending the revenue-sharing proposal.

Perhaps the biggest news of the day is that talks are not going backwards.

MLB and MLBPA hold first economic shutdown negotiations

January 13 2022 – MLB and the union are meeting to discuss the economics of the game for the first time in more than 40 days. The association presents its first economic proposal on the shutdown, which goes nowhere with the union.

The association’s proposal includes issues such as the judging system and manipulation of service time. Key issues including minimum salaries, revenue sharing and the luxury tax were not discussed.

The MLB enters a state of closure as the collective bargaining agreement expires

December 2, 2021 – MLB owners vote unanimously to implement the shutdown when the collective bargaining agreement expires. It’s the game’s first hiatus since 1994.

“Simply put, we believe the off-season shutdown is the best mechanism to protect the 2022 season,” Manfred says in a statement. “We hope that the closure will trigger negotiations and lead to an agreement that will allow the season to start on time.

“This defensive shutdown was necessary because seeing MLB players would threaten the ability of most teams to compete. It’s simply not a viable option.”

The Players Association described the shutdown as a “dramatic measure” in a statement.

“It is not required by law or for any other reason,” the union said in a statement. “The choice of owners, plain and simple, was specifically designed to pressure players to give up rights and benefits, and to abandon bona fide bargaining proposals that would benefit not only players, but the game and the industry as a whole.”

MLB, union meeting with CBA is about to end

December 1, 2021 – Less than 12 hours before the CBA expires at 10:59 p.m. Cairo time, the league and union are meeting in Dallas—negotiations that take less than 10 minutes before they wrap up on the day.

The following week, during an appearance at 670 The Score, Cubs player and union representative Ian Hap said the league had “not made a single economic proposal” during negotiations over the three-day period in Dallas. Happ calls it “a horrible way to negotiate.”

Manfred Suggests MLB Shutdown May Be Coming

November 18, 2021 – During owners’ meetings in Chicago in November, Commissioner Rob Manfred discusses ongoing business negotiations with reporters and points out what’s to come.

“An informal shutdown that pushes the process forward is different from a business dispute that costs games,” says Manfred, Athletic Evan Drillich.

Jerry Rensdorf: CBA’s latest bid for owners ‘too fair’

October 10, 2021 – In an interview with NBC Sports Chicago, White Sox President Jerry Reinsdorf discusses the owner’s offer in August and expresses optimism that a new CBA will be reached before expiration on December 1.

“Look, these deals were done last week,” Reinsdorf says. “The same applies to the contracts of the players in arbitration. They all settled on the last day.”

MLB Presents First Economic Show

August 16, 2021 – At the first meeting between the league and the union discussing the economics of the game, the MLB is proposing to add a $100 million minimum salary and lower the luxury tax threshold to $180 million — down 14.3 percent from the 2021 threshold of $210 million. This is down to 2012 levels.

Not surprisingly, the proposal is not the beginning of the union.

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