Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic has had it. For the most part he’s been quite critical of the owners in the negotiations this winter. But overnight he laid blame on both sides after what went down on Tuesday.
Yet, here we are, the parties forever trapped in their bubbles, seemingly unable to recognize they’re about to drive the game to the abyss. I will repeat, one last time: Not a single game should be lost, especially not over matters that initially appeared to be secondary concerns. And while the owners are mostly to blame for initiating the lockout and pulling one stunt after another in negotiations, the union had a chance Wednesday to accelerate the endgame. Instead, it chose to continue the fight.
The fight this week seems to be around an international draft. Over at RedsMinorLeagues.com I wrote about many of the reasons that the debate for or against it are a bit more complicated than they may seem to be on the surface.
Major League Baseball was willing to give up draft pick compensation related to qualifying offers in exchange for instituting an international draft. There was a little back-and-forth on that before Major League Baseball decided this:
Snag, and not a minor one.
Players union was expecting to receive an MLB counter-proposal this afternoon but instead received what it considers an ultimatum — choose 1 of 3 Int’l draft- draft pick compensation ideas — before resuming negotiations on proposal.
— Michael Silverman (@MikeSilvermanBB) March 9, 2022
What those three options were are laid out by Hannah Keyser of Yahoo! sports:
– International draft plus elimination of direct draft pick compensation
– status quo on both
– Elimination of direct draft pick compensation now, players have til Nov 15 2022 to agree to an intl draft starting 2024. If players still say no, CBA reopens after 2024.
— Hannah Keyser (@HannahRKeyser) March 9, 2022
The players came back to the owners with an offer on that, which the owners turned down. The offer, however, was one that ownership offered but was denied because it came after “the deadline”.
Players made an offer late today: They’d spend the season working on a world draft and if it didn’t work out, qualifying offers/free agent comp would be re-installed at year’s end. This was Manfred’s idea Tuesday night but was rejected because it came after MLB’s 6 pm deadline.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 10, 2022
At this point all of this is getting to the point of stupidity. The owners declined an offer that they initially made earlier in the day because the players included it in a proposal after a made up “deadline”. Rob Manfred then announced that two more series would be cancelled. Of course, as I continue to note – the owners can’t actually decide on their own to cancel games. The length of the season must be negotiated and agreed upon. Owners are only capable of postponing games. With that said, if there’s going to be a full 162-game season, time is running out to get a deal in place and get started.
Despite the announcement of more games being “cancelled”, the players and the owners representatives continued talking on Tuesday night after that announcement according to the Boston Globe’s Michael Silverman.
Labor talks are NOT over.
Union and league tonight are discussing the int’l draft and draft pick compensation issue that derailed talks.
If they get a resolution, then certainly the possibility exists that talks could continue. The sides were close on economic issues.
— Michael Silverman (@MikeSilvermanBB) March 10, 2022