No Deal. MLB & MLBPA Remain Deeply Divided

3-1-22 – By Gary Morgan – @garymo2007 on Twitter

Welp.

Rob Manfred has officially cancelled the first two series of the regular season. For the Pirates that will be a series against the Cardinals and Reds.

The two sides stayed up last night and talked, and bargained, and worked at an agreement but in the end the factions involved are simply too divided.

I always try to simplify this stuff for you, and tonight will be no different, but simplifying the stances isn’t the same as pretending the solutions are simple.

FIrst of all, MLBPA has a much harder time herding cats on their end. There is no way they can poll every player for every issue, every time. In other words, when MLB finally upped their offer on minimum salary to 700K, it’s not like that went out to a vote of all MLB players, instead it was left to the executive committee and the other two issues that have been the biggest sticking points simply wouldn’t move.

Those issues are the CBT that still sits about 50 million apart and the Pre-Arbitration Bonus Pool that sits closer to 85 million.

I’m told within MLB there are 10-11 teams who have coalesced on those two issues in particular. And yes, your Pirates are one of them. In MLB, you need 8 of the 30 teams to prevent ratification, so having 10-11 teams would make their wishes about as close to iron clad as you’re going to get.

Now, the money the players want isn’t insane. From a percentage perspective it’s reasonable actually, the problem is it wouldn’t be applied evenly and many teams simply can’t see allowing a tax threshold they certainly can’t reach right now go up another 30-40 million and just shrug it off.

If you’re a Pirates fan, and you wanted to see Bob Nutting stand up and not let his team get even more steamrolled, he’s done that. He’s also not spent what he could and that shouldn’t be ignored. That’s part of what makes this so difficult

Speaking on the CBT threshold issue specifically as MLB only proposed to raise it roughly 5%.

“We have a payroll disparity problem, to weaken the only mechanism in the agreement that is designed to promote some semblance of competitive balance is something that i don’t think the club group is willing to do.”

As a Pirates fan, I have to be honest, it felt good to hear it out loud. That’s really what this entire thing is about and a point that we simply aren’t going to get past.

This is going to hurt, and young players will feel it first and the most.

“Our position is that games that are not played, players will not get paid for” Rob Manfred

Now, when will they meet again?

“Every single issue I believe we have made the last offer, you make your own determination about who outta go next.” – Rob Manfred

Sounds to me like they won’t meet again until Thursday at the earliest but if they felt dug in enough to lose games today, agreeing on Thursday doesn’t seem plausible.

I could write a ton more, but I’d rather digest this and not write something I’ll wish I worded differently the next day.

So let’s leave it there for today.

Dark day for the sport and the league.

Published by Gary Morgan

Former contributor for Inside the Pirates an SI Team Channel

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