For the New York Yankees and other MLB teams, the owner’s newest offer won’t draw the end of the CBA impasse any closer. In fact, it is likely to assure a late start to spring training and the start of the 2022 baseball season. With the pitchers and catchers scheduled to show up today, the spring training is now officially delayed.
In the MLB’s latest offer made over the weekend, the owners asked for the ability to eliminate hundreds of minor league playing jobs in its latest labor offer to the players association. The MLBPA will have no part of that request, dragging on the negotiations that have not shown any progress and assuring a late start of the season.
The number of minor league players a team can have at any time is 180. This is called the Domestic Reserve List. The owners have allowed that to remain at current levels, but Manfred’s office, under the latest request, will be able to lower that figure in future years to as little as 150 players in the future, adjusting it up and down at a whim. This is a request that the players will soundly reject, as reported by ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
In recent years the owners have proposed controlling the size of the Domestic Reserve, which was rejected multiple times. The players have not specifically responded to the request, but sources report that the players intend to reject it and any future proposals that could cut minor league jobs.
Two new MLB rules will make a complex situation even more complicated in other recent developments. Those two rules are the Universal DH for the season 2022 and beyond. The other is the loss of removal of draft pick compensation. With many National League teams now looking for a DH to replace a pitcher that used to have to pitch, it will likely be a boon to free agents, with more teams interested in acquiring them.
Training camps will remain shuttered Wednesday when pitchers and catchers had been scheduled to start workouts for a 2022 season. Unless a miracle happens in the negotiations in the next few days, the start of the 2022 season will be delayed.