clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Details emerge as owners and players get closer to a deal

Could we have baseball soon?


It’s been a week since MLB’s self-imposed deadline for a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) passed, and the league took action by cancelling the first two series of the season.

At the time everything felt grim. It was unclear when the league and the Players Association would get back to the bargaining table, and there was no reason to be optimistic about what would transpire once they did.

Well ... things still look grim, but they’re a little bit less grim. The two sides have been bargaining once more, and details are emerging that suggest that they’re a good bit closer to a deal than they were this time last week.

Which is good because we’ve got another deadline to contend with.

The two sides remain apart on one of the stickiest subjects — the competitive balance tax — but they seem to be closing in on some common ground.

The other biggest sticking point — minimum salaries — is also inching closer towards a compromise.

It’s worth issuing the reminder that just because the numbers are nearing a point of agreement doesn’t mean there aren’t other obstacles keeping the two sides from putting pen to paper with a new CBA.

And while it seemed for a while like all the concessions would have to come from the players if a deal was to be reached, the owners are now showing some willingness to back off of some of their over-the-top proposals.

The amount of details we’re getting — and some of it on minutiae — is encouraging. It suggests the sides are having meaningful discussions with good faith negotiations. In hindsight, last week’s negotiations never seemed to get close, and it was just the owners attempting to put pressure on the players through public quotes about a closeness that never existed.

Now things do seem closer, though there’s still a very long ways to go.

If the two sides can wrap things up soon, the league’s goal is to still play 162 games, and to maintain a normal season’s service time and pay.

That would not mean un-canceling the canceled games, and having the San Francisco Giants open the season on March 31. Instead, it would likely come in the form of doubleheaders, and maybe some added games at the end of the schedule.

We could have baseball soon. “Could” is the operative word, but I’m not here to stop anyone from being optimistic.

And now we wait.