HomeBaseballMLB Lockout: First Two Regular-Season Series Cancelled

MLB Lockout: First Two Regular-Season Series Cancelled

MLB Lockout

MLB Lockout: First Two Regular-Season Series Cancelled

After three months of the MLB lockout, the league has cancelled the first two regular-season series after the MLB Players’ Association (MLBPA) rejected the league’s latest proposal.

The league’s ninth work stoppage began on 2 December, and the delay in negotiations has seen the cancellation of Spring training games through 7 March, as both sides struggle to reach an agreement.

Both parties have closed in on agreements for smaller issues, but expectations of luxury tax thresholds and rates, the size of the new bonus pool for pre-arbitration (pre-arb) players and minimum salaries still had a large gap.

The league’s best-final-offer had no changes to the luxury tax threshold, which will start at $220 million in 2022 and rise to $230 million by 2026, with a $5 million increase for the pre-arb pool, from $25 million to $30 million and an increase of minimum salaries from $674,000 to $700,000 with a $10,000 increase annually.

The MLBPA previously offered a luxury tax threshold of $238 million in 2022 increasing to $263 million in 2026, with the pre-arb pool beginning each year at $85 million and increasing to $5 million annually, while the union wanted minimum salaries to begin at $725,000 and increase $20,000 per year.

MLB commissioner, Rob Manfred, said: “I had hoped against hope I wouldn’t have to have this press conference where I am going to cancel some regular season games.”

“We worked hard to avoid an outcome that’s bad for our fans, bad for our players, and bad for our clubs,” he said.

After Manfred and MLB owners cancelled the start of the season, the MLBPA released a statement, saying: “Players and fans around the world who love baseball are disgusted, but sadly not surprised.”

“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 said.

Additionally, talks were held involving several MLB and MLBPA executives on deals covering benefits, joint drug rules and dealing with domestic violence allegations.

MLB opening day was originally scheduled to begin on 31 March, but has now been pushed back at least a week, with Manfred saying there will be no agreement until Thursday at the earliest.

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