MILWAUKEE -- MLB and the players union are making progress and close to agreeing on a new CBA. The deadline to reach a deal is December 11.

The final key issue is a slotting system for draft choices, and word is there won't be hard slots (or caps) that would have meant prearranged draft bonuses based on where a draft choice was picked. Instead, they are discussing a system whereby slot recommendation will be made that could cost teams dollars in taxes and possibly future draft choices if teams habitually exceed their assigned slot prices.

There also is expected to be a system whereby fewer players signed through free agency will cost teams draft picks. There have been concerns about certain non-star players, especially non-closing reliever, having compensatory draft picks attached to them in the past.

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