AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin
Jeff Passan of ESPN reported Monday’s meeting was “contentious” and that there’s a lot of work left to do, but the two sides agreed to meet again Tuesday. After meeting just once in nearly two months since the initial lockout on Dec. 2, the continued dialogue is progress.
The MLBPA also made significant concessions on Monday, dropping key parts from its previous proposal, per Evan Drellich of The Athletic. The biggest one was the plan for an age-based free-agency system.
The players have tried to reduce the six years of major league service time required to reach free agency, but it has seemingly been a nonstarter from the owners’ perspective. In the initial plan, players would reach free agency after five seasons if they were at least 30.5 years old.
The union has also suggested arbitration starting after two years instead of three, which remains in the latest proposal. Per Drellich, this is one of the two major hurdles to a new deal along with potential changes to revenue sharing.
Monday’s proposal from the MLBPA did alter its plans for revenue sharing between the teams, although the league would still have to agree.
The two sides already discussed noncore economic issues at a Dec. 17 meeting, per ESPN’s Jesse Rogers. This included scheduling and potential changes to the drug and domestic violence policies.
That could lead to a resolution if the two sides can get over the other obstacles.
Spring training is currently scheduled to begin Feb. 26 with the regular season starting on March 31, creating urgency if both sides want to avoid losing games.