Most would tell you the players and owners are still not close to a new MLB CBA deal, but a closer look paints a more optimistic picture.
The drama playing out on Twitter and in the media over the MLB CBA has gotten to a level that you don’t really know who to believe or who you can trust.
We all knew things were fishy on Monday night when the two most unreliable sources in the game were the only ones reporting information on a deal.
One thing we do know is the two sides absolutely hate each other and neither is willing to give in and let the other side “win.”
But I wanted to bring a little optimism today because when you break down where the two sides are at, it seems like a path to a new MLB CBA deal is not that far off.
Much of this comes from a thread on Twitter by Jesse Rogers of ESPN:
This is where I’ve been for a while and why I’m hopeful that if real negotiations continue, a deal could get done in the next week or so — if they want a deal.
One of the growing rumors is that the owners don’t mind missing the first month of the season. I think that’s poppycock — why would they want to lose money on their investment?
Sure, they have a little more leverage with missing games early, but I still believe/hope they want to see Major League Baseball played as soon as possible — maybe I’m being naive there.
MLB CBA: Where They Stand on 3 Key Issues
It’s been clear for a while now that the three big issues remaining are minimum salary, pre-arb pool bonus money, and collective balance tax (CBT) threshold.
The minimum salary should be a done deal, in my opinion. The league last offered $700,000, which is about $50,000 higher than I thought they’d get to.
I know there are some differences in how much that should increase, but to me, this is a win for the players.
Getting the league on board for a pre-arb pool is already a win for the players, now it’s just getting as much money in that pool as they can. The league’s last offer was $30 million, while the players are at 85.
There is also a difference in the number of players who should receive that money.
If the players can get the league to $50 million, again, I think that’s a huge win and is not that far off.
And honestly, the CBT isn’t that far off either with the owners at $220 and the players at $238. Jesse says they could meet in the middle at $230, but I think even $225 would be a big win.
Of course, then it all depends on how much the league is willing to raise it each year. I think the biggest issue has not been the starting point, but that the league is really unwilling to raise it much year-to-year.
But it still doesn’t seem like they’re very far off on any of these, the league just has to be willing to give a little bit more.
The rest of the issues are pretty much done. It looks like the 12-team postseason the players wanted (over a 14-team postseason the owners wanted) is a done deal. The DH is coming and the owners agreed to take away draft pick compensation for free agents.
Not to mention the changes to the draft to try and keep teams from tanking — spoiler alert, teams are still going to tank.
The narrative in the media is that the owners have done nothing and the two sides aren’t close. But when you really take a step back and look at what all has transpired, the players have a good deal in hand and are close to getting a great deal.
Yes, you can blame the owners for taking a two-month break and waiting until the last second to make some major concessions, but that was going to happen regardless as waiting gave them the most leverage.
But now it’s time to move past that and do what is best for the game. Stay out of the media, quit posturing for fan approval (that goes for the owners, the commissioner, and the players), and just get a new MLB CBA deal done so we can watch the Atlanta Braves play baseball (and sign Freddie Freeman).