MLB Labor Negotiations Update

Major League Baseball Labor Negotiations: Major League Baseball (the League) and the union representing the players are negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement. Negotiations are not going well. The League locked out the players. No trades or Spring Training can occur until the owners lift the lockout. The two sides are very far apart.

For example, the union offered to reduce its figure for a pre-arbitration bonus pool from $105 million to $100 million. The owners offered $10 million.

The union wants all players with 2 years of service time to be eligible for arbitration (not just the 22% with the most service time). The League said no.

The union also wants a reduction in revenue sharing among the teams: less money to the teams means more money to the players. The League has consistently said this issue is a non-starter while maintaining proposals to increase the post-season to 14 teams.

There have been some compromises. Both sides agreed to a Designated Hitter role for both the American and National League (expanded from just the American League) and an NBA-style draft lottery.

The League requested help from a federal mediator to get to an agreement. The union declined the mediator’s help. U.S. Labor Secretary, Marty Walsh, who is a long time union leader and former mayor of Boston, has offered to help facilitate negotiations. The parties did not agree to accept his help.

Spring training was supposed to start this week. It cannot start while the players are locked out of the facilities. Opening Day is March 29. As a dad to an 8 year old who lives and breathes baseball, I sure hope baseball starts on time this year.