Nine straight days of bargaining. No end in sight.
MLB and the MLBPA have failed to agree on terms for a new collective bargaining agreement by Monday’s owner-imposed deadline, prompting commissioner Rob Manfred to delay the start of the season. It was slated to begin on March 31.
In response, the MLBPA released a statement on Twitter denouncing the cancellation of the start of the season.
“Rob Manfred and MLB’s owners have cancelled the start of the season. Players and fans around the world who love baseball are disgusted, but sadly not surprised,” the statement reads. ”From the beginning of these negotiations, Players’ objectives have been consistent—to promote competition, provide fair compensation for young Players, and to uphold the integrity of our market system. Against the backdrop of growing revenues and record profits, we are seeking nothing more than a fair agreement.”
It‘s the first time since 1995 that regular-season games have been affected by a work stoppage, with two series for each team being canceled. In the commissioner’s press conference, Manfred said that the agreement offered “huge” benefits to MLB players and fans. He also said that the “last five years have been very difficult for the league from a revenue perspective.”
According to The Score's Travis Sawchik, MLB totaled approximately $43 billion in that period.
On Tuesday, the owners made their “best and final” offer to the players ahead of the already-extended deadline. Reportedly, the proposal had no changes to the current competitive balance tax thresholds and small raises to the minimum salary. The Players Association unanimously rejected it.
“What Rob Manfred characterized as a “defensive lockout” is, in fact, the culmination of a decades-long attempt by owners to break out Player fraternity,” it said. “As in the past, this effort will fail. We are united and committed to negotiating a far deal that will improve the sport for Players, fans and everyone who loves our game.”
Manfred said that the two sides will meet again in New York and continue negotiations. Per Fansided’s Robert Murray, the MLBPA has organized a training facility in Arizona, and there is interest in establishing one in Florida, according to The Athletic’s Evan Drellich.
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