Finally, a bit of positivity regarding the Players Union and MLB owners. During a meeting in Manhattan on Monday afternoon, both sides connected for two hours, significantly longer than in previous conferences.
The MLBPA has been demanding more flexibility for players in free agency and trying to get more money in the process, but the owners stood firm, forcing the union to adjust their demands.
According to The Athletic, the MLBPA dropped a significant request to introduce an age-based free-agency system:
The Major League Baseball Players Association dropped its request to introduce an age-based free-agency system into the sport on Monday, withdrawing a proposal in one of the three major areas MLB had shown no interest in changing, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Athletic.
The meeting between the Major League Baseball Players Association and MLB is over. There is not a deal, nor did anyone expect one. Union made a broad proposal that included removing pieces of its past offers.
The good news: They’re meeting again tomorrow. Passes for progress.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 24, 2022
The MLBPA dropping the age-based free agency means that it will remain six years for players to reach an opportunity to test the open market.
There were talks of adjusting how service time was calculated, but the owners believe the sport would become one-sided in favor of teams with more salary space, so providing lesser clubs with opportunities to hold onto their players is ideal.
Of course, this means players won’t be able to cash in on their contributions and skills until after they’ve passed the threshold, which is what the union is fighting for.
In addition, the union also revised a proposal to alter revenue sharing, decreasing the demand of $100 million to $30 million. There are plenty of hurdles left for both sides to clear before they can make significant progress toward solving the CBA, but this was a great step in the right direction.
The two sides will meet once again on Tuesday afternoon to continue proceedings, so things could get done quickly unless they hit another snag, in which weeks could pass before further talks ensue.