Braves Lockout: CBA Talks Progressing With Big Hurdles Ahead

Joc Pederson of the Atlanta Braves argues with umpire Ron Kulpa after being called out on strikes. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Joc Pederson of the Atlanta Braves argues with umpire Ron Kulpa after being called out on strikes. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

While we did see some movement this week in CBA talks that would open the offseason back up for the Atlanta Braves, there are big hurdles left to overcome. 

It’s been a long winter for Atlanta Braves fans. Despite coming off a World Series championship we still have no resolution for the face of the franchise and there are several holes left to fill on the team.

Talks between the owners and players picked up this week leading to optimism that the offseason could resume soon.

Some positives we’ve seen include the players dropping a proposal to shorten arbitration, allowing players to get to free agency sooner.

That was something the owners were never going to give in on because that would completely mess up the competitive balance.

We saw the owners budge slightly on the minimum salary proposing to raise it to $615,000. There is still a long way to go there, but at least each side is moving.

And we saw both sides propose a bonus pool of money for pre-arbitration players who finish high in WAR. That will allow young players who are getting paid the minimum to earn extra money.

However, the two sides are far apart on how much should be put in that pool with the players proposing $110 million and the owners just $10 million. But again, both sides are at least accepting of this and now it’s just finding a common ground on money.

I believe both of those issues can be resolved rather easily at this point.

CBA Talks — Biggest Issues Left

From what I can tell, there remain two pretty big issues left to get resolved — or at least see some movement.

One is the amount of money shared with revenue sharing. At first, the players proposed to reduce that money by about $100 million. On Tuesday they lowered that to $30 million. But this is a topic the owners have been unwilling to budge on and it sounds like even after Tuesday’s proposal they still are unwilling to move.

The other big issue that we haven’t heard much about this week is the Competitive Balance Tax.

Right now the CBT limit is $210 million with increasing penalties for each year a team goes over that amount. The league proposed to up the limit to $214 and then eventually $220 with harsher penalties for the first time a team goes over that limit.

MLBPA proposed raising the limit to $245 million.

Players obviously want teams to spend more money, but in reality, the CBT only applies to a small number of teams.

I still think this one can be resolved pretty easily with the owner’s proposal, but this is a big issue for the players and we haven’t seen much movement by either lately.

There are other issues on the table as well like the DH, expanded postseason, and draft order. Those seem much more minor and easier to work out as money isn’t necessarily tied to each of them.

I’m feeling optimistic this week that the Atlanta Braves and other teams will continue their offseason soon and Spring Training can start relatively on time.

There are still some large gaps on these issues, but both sides are starting to recognize they can’t let this last much longer. Hopefully we won’t miss any Braves baseball this year.

Next. Braves in Hall of Fame Voting. dark

I predict it gets done in the next three weeks and Spring Training will only be delayed by a week. Let me know when you think a deal gets done in the comments below.