When Major League Baseball ownership voted to lock out the players on December 1st (and implemented the lockout the next day) they claimed that they did so in order to speed up negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement. After walking into the meeting with the Major League Baseball Players Association and telling the players that they would not discuss multiple issues related to service time or certain monetary issues, the ownership side walked out of the meeting after 7 minutes and then spent the next 6 weeks not making a proposal to the players association. That certainly sped things up…..
But today the two sides are set to meet in a video conference. According to Jeff Passan and Jesse Rogers of ESPN the ownership side is set to propose “core economics” during the meeting, which is what the major sticking points between the two sides have been. The first time, before the lockout, that MLB’s side discussed their core economic ideas it included actually lowering the luxury tax threshold. Hopefully today things go a little bit better because there’s almost no way that the players accept a lower luxury tax threshold as nearly the entire league treats it as a salary cap.
Typically these things go in a back-and-forth manner. This meeting the ownership side presents their side of things and will get a little bit of feedback from the players side of things, and then the next time they meet the players will make their presentation of what they want/are looking for and get feedback from the other side.
Pitchers and catchers are due to show up to spring training in less than five weeks. That won’t happen if players are still locked out. Games are set to begin on February 26th – that’s six weeks from now. Those won’t take place if the players are still locked out, and even if they aren’t, it’s possible those first few games wouldn’t take place if the players didn’t have enough time to get ramped up to safely play those games (this is mostly the pitchers side of things).
If a few spring training games are missed there won’t be much of an uproar. But Opening Day is in late March and if the season gets pushed or shortened, that is going to be very bad for a game that is barely hanging on to a lot of fans as it is.