With negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement picking up steam there is a sliver of hope that the ongoing lockout will end relatively soon.

There are core issues in negotiations that directly relate to how the Yankees will operate and could change their plans for when transactions are allowed again.

One of the sticking points is service time manipulation and how that relates to arbitration. The MLBPA has tried to get players into arbitration a year earlier, and it seems like there will be some sort of raise to the minimum salary. There has not been too much progress on this front, but there will be some changes as the main goal for the MLBPA is help younger players earn more money.

One thing that has been proposed by MLB that will impact what happens on the field is a limit to the amount of times a player can be optioned in a single season. The limit they proposed was five, and the MLBPA countered with four being the limit. That would not be too limiting, but it would reduce the amount the Yankees could use the “Scranton Shuttle” as fans like to call it, especially with those back end of the bullpen pitchers.

The other and main issue that impacts the Yankees most of all is what happens with the luxury tax. There has not been much negotiating on this yet because of the focus on the previously mentioned issues. What we do know is that the MLBPA wants in regards to the luxury tax.

One of MLB’s recent proposals involved raising the luxury tax thresholds while increasing the penalties for going over the thresholds that existed before. The players do not want the penalties to be increased at all over concern that it would operate even more as a cap. Mets starting pitcher Max Scherzer voiced his concern and laid out the reason the MLBPA does not like the idea of worse penalties with a higher threshold.

The outcome Yankees fans should be rooting for is a significant raise of the thresholds and the penalties staying the same. It would likely be preferable to have the penalties stay the same even if it meant sacrificing how much the thresholds go up.

The penalties being increased would likely make the Yankees less inclined to go over the threshold as much as they do, and a significant raise of the thresholds might make the difference in the Yankees spending big on a free agent or not when the offseason resumes.

So if you want someone like Carlos Correa, Trevor Story or Freddie Freeman on the Yankees in 2022, root for a raise in the luxury tax thresholds with the penalties staying the same. A raise of the thresholds seems like a certainty, but the penalties being increased is more of a question.

Photo: Vincent Carchietta/USA Today Sports

 

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