Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association reportedly made progress Monday toward an agreement for a new collective bargaining agreement that would end the owner-imposed lockout after a marathon negotiating session that lasted until the early morning hours. MLB had originally created a Monday (Feb. 28) deadline to reach an agreement before canceling regular-season games and postponing 2022 Opening Day. That self-imposed deadline, however, has been pushed back until 5 p.m. ET Tuesday, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN, and the sides are continuing talks throughout the day.
Representatives from both sides arrived on site at around 10 a.m. ET Tuesday and met face-to-face for the first time around 1:30 p.m. after the players had a conference call to discuss their proposal, per The Athletic’s Evan Drellich.
MLB and the MLBPA spent more than 16 hours at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida, on Monday before calling it a night around 2:30 a.m. ET. As far as the progress made during the marathon sessions on Monday/Tuesday early morning, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that there’s “definite progress,” but “large gaps remain in major areas.”
MLB began Monday’s negotiations by informing the MLBPA it is willing to miss a month’s worth of games and took a more threatening tone, per Drellich. Multiple reports, several hours later, said the two sides ended up agreeing on a 12-team expanded playoff format. However, the conversations around the competitive balance tax (a.k.a. the luxury tax) threshold, the minimum salary and a bonus pool for pre-arbitration players were ongoing.
More trivial matters such as defensive shifting restrictions were also reportedly part of discussions. In all, there were 13 separate face-to-face meetings between the two sides at the spring training facility on Monday. The bottom line is there’s a shred of hope the season begins as planned on March 31, but there’s still heavy lifting to be done on Tuesday when the parties reconvene.
CBS Sports has provided a timeline of the lockout here, but the short version is that the owners placed the padlocks on when the previous CBA expired on Dec. 1 — exactly three months ago. They were under no obligation to do so, but it was labeled as a defensive maneuver. The league then waited more than six weeks to make its first proposal. The two sides have since had a number of in-person negotiations. CBS Sports is providing live updates of Tuesday’s talks. You can follow along below.