Major League Baseball and the Player’s Association are expected to meet again Saturday in hopes of striking a deal to end MLB’s first work stoppage since 1994. Pitchers and catchers are due to report to spring training on February 16 which is next Wednesday. So the likelihood of that happening on time is almost 0.
Why is it that you ask? Well, the two sides couldn’t even come to an agreement on fully or partially prorated salaries in the middle of a pandemic where hundreds of thousands of people were losing their lives and their jobs, so to think a deal will be made in one day for pitchers and catchers to report on time is not realistic.
According to Manfred, this is what the two sides have agreed to at this moment: Universal Designated Hitter and the draft pick compensation for signing free agents is eliminated. There is also no status change in spring training.
There will also be a draft lottery implemented. This is in hope to stop teams from tanking for multiple years to build a great team for multiple years after that. Take the Astros (who cheated) and the Cubs as examples.
There is also talk about expanding the playoffs. The owners are looking for a 14-team bracket while the players are only looking for two additional playoff teams at 12. The players fear that a 14-team playoff would diminish the importance of the regular season.
One of the big holdups in this process has been and will continue to be revenue sharing. The owners will not reduce revenue sharing. That is, passing money from the higher-revenue teams to the lowest-revenue teams for economic equity. Manfred’s position on this is that it won’t be fair for small market teams like the A’s and Rays to compete without it.
We shall see what unfolds but if we know anything about Major League Baseball and these types of negotiations, they don’t care about public perception. They just want theirs. I hope I am wrong.
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