MLB reportedly tells union they can still play 162 games if there is a deal today

Tuesday could be a very important day for baseball fans, or just another disappointment, depending on the final outcome: MLB could potentially be back, and with a 162-game calendar, if the league and the union come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) today, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.

“Huge day in baseball. Deadline No. 3. MLB told the players union if they can do deal today they can still play 162 games; if not, a 2nd week may be lost. MLB suggested a rise in luxury tax threshold to $228M, But details haven’t surfaced and players say there’s still work to do,” Heyman tweeted.

Of course, we, as fans and media, can get the best possible outcome, which is having the assurance there will be a full season starting soon, or we can see yet another week chopped off the calendar. At this point, there is no gray: it’s either black or white.

The two sides are not particularly close to a deal, mainly because the most important item in the agenda, the competitive balance tax (CBT, or luxury tax), still represents a hurdle.

The CBT is MLB’s biggest hurdle towards a deal

MLB currently wants it to start at $220 million and end in $230 million in 2026, but the Players Association is currently at $238 million to begin 2022 and $263 million in 2026, the final year of the CBA agreement.

The league is willing to go up to $228 million, hoping that the MLBPA comes down a little. The incremental gains, however, could be hard to iron out.

Other issues remain the minimum salary, as MLB wants it to start at $700,000 with $10,000 annual increases, but the union wants at least $775,000. The bonus pool for outstanding pre-arbitration players is another problem, as owners are offering $30 million and players want $80 million as a minimum.

At the end of the day, we will probably know if we get to see spring training in a matter of days, or if baseball will continue suffering until there is a deal. Stay tuned, Mets and Yankees‘ fans.