The Major League Baseball Players Association will present a counter-offer to the owners on Monday, Jeff Passan of ESPN reports. According to The Athletic's Evan Drellich, the counter proposal will be presented on Monday during an in-person bargaining session in New York set to start in the early afternoon.
This counter-offer would be a response to what was presented to them by the MLB owners on Jan. 13, the details of which were not met with any enthusiasm from the player side.
To recap, the MLB owners offered the players:
- Raising the league minimum salary and opening up more money available to so-called "Super Twos," players who qualify for arbitration for four years instead of the standard three before hitting free agency.
- Extra draft picks for teams that don't manipulate service time for top prospects in order to gain an extra year of control in lieu of simply playing the best players on the big-league roster at all times.
- Further adjustments to the league's previously proposed draft lottery, which would include incentives for teams to stop extreme tanking.
In general, the players have wanted more money in the pockets of younger players, since the overwhelming majority of players who appear in the majors don't make it to free agency (six or even close to seven years). They have also expressed concern about too many teams not putting the best product possible on the field (the tanking and service-time manipulation). Typically, owner offers of paying younger players more comes attached to offers of lowering the luxury tax -- that is, the owners aren't paying players more in general, they are simply shifting salaries around the player pool.
Via my colleague Mike Axisa, here's a summary of where things stand before the players make their counter-proposal on Monday:
Gradually raising the luxury-tax threshold to $220 million by 2026
Raising the luxury-tax threshold to $245 million
Pay-for-play arbitration system and free agency for all at age 29.5
Free agency at five years of service time and age 29.5, or six years of service time, whichever comes first
Eliminating draft pick compensation for free agents
Service-time bonuses for All-Star Game selections, awards, etc.
Expanded 14-team postseason
Expanded 12-team postseason
Draft lottery for top three picks
Draft lottery with a market size component
Let's hope they come to an agreement sometime soon. The clock is ticking. Spring training is set to start in the middle of February and Opening Day is scheduled for March 31.