Key proposals in Major League Baseball labor negotiations
JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — Some of the key areas in collective bargaining between Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association as of proposals through Feb. 24, as obtained The Associated Press. This is only a partial list of bargaining topics:
MLB: Would keep existing system in which six seasons of major league service required.
MLBPA: Would keep existing system, subject to agreement on its service time proposal.
FREE AGENT DRAFT PICK COMPENSATION
MLB and MLBPA: Agree to eliminate direct amateur draft-pick compensation, which has existed since 1976 and existed for qualified free agents since 2012.
MLB proposed that a team losing a free agent would receive draft-pick compensation based on revenue-sharing status and whether a club had been over the luxury tax threshold. For a free agent who had spent the entire season with one team, there would would be four compensation tiers based on:
— $25 million in guaranteed salary or $18 million average annual value (AAV),
— $55 million or $23 million AAV,
— $100 million or $30 million AAV,
— $150 million or $40 million AAV.
MLB: Would retain current system for players with at least three years of service and less than six, plus the top 22% by service time with at least two years but less than three, the cutoff since 2013. The Super 2 class began in 1991 at 17%.
MLBPA: Would lower eligibility to two years of major league service, plus the top 75% by service time with at least two years but less than three. MLBPA estimated 98 additional players would become eligible post-2021 with a cutoff of 2 years, 27 days. MLB estimated an additional 97.
PRE-ARBITRATION BONUS POOL
MLBPA: Proposed a new bonus pool for those not yet eligible for arbitration, who would split a $115 million from central revenue, based on WAR, appearances on an all-MLB team and recognition such as best position player, best pitcher and best rookie Would be split among 150 players.
MLB: Would agree to a new bonus pool, offering $20 million to be split among 30 players.
MLBPA: Saying this would address its allegations of improper service time manipulation, proposed rookie-eligible players be credited with an additional year of major league service for the top 15 at each position in each league by WAR, or the top five, depending on position, and for top five Rookie of the Year, top three Rivera/Hoffman awards or first or second all-MLB team.
MLB: Proposed any rookie-eligible player with top-100 prospect status who accrues a full season of major league service would be eligible to earn his team up to two extra draft picks -- one domestic and one international -- if MLBPA would agree to an international draft, which it has opposed. MLBPA would accept in addition to its own proposal, but with modifications.
Threshold was $210 million in 2021, with tax rates of 20% for first offender, 30% for exceeding in consecutive years and 50% for exceeding in three or more consecutive years. Surcharges for exceeding $230 million and $250 million. The second threshold was $230 million last year, with tax rates of 32% for the first offender, 42% for the second and 62% for the third. The third threshold was $250 million, with tax rates of 62.5% for the first offender 75% for the second and 95% for the third.
MLB: Proposed raising threshold to $214 million in 2022 and ’23. $216 million in ’24, $218 million in ’25 and $222 million in ’26, with the second threshold $20 million above the first and the third threshold $40 million above the first. MLB also proposed increasing the tax rate to 50% for exceeding the first threshold, 75% for exceeding the second and 100% for exceeding the third, with no escalating rate for a team exceeding in successive years. A team would lose a second-round pick for going over the second threshold rather than dropping 10 slots and would forfeit a first-round selection for exceeding the third threshold.
MLBPA: Proposed raising threshold starting at $245 million for the 2022 season. Threshold would increase to $273 million in 2026, Would keep rates of expired agreement and eliminate non-monetary penalties.
MLB: Proposed an NBA/NHL-style draft lottery for top four selections.
MLBPA: Accepted the concept of a weighted lottery but would expand the number of teams to seven and make adjustments designed to incentivize competition.
MLB: Proposed raising from $570,500 to $640,000 in 2022, rising by $10,000 annually to $680,000 by 2026.
MLBPA: Proposed raising it to $775,000 in 2022 and then $30,000 annually to $895,000 by 2026. The minor league minimum for players signing their initial major league contracts would rise to $63,200 in 2022, $66,000 in 2023, $68,500 in 2024, $70,900 in 2025 and $73,400 in 2026, and for later contracts to $126,400, $131,200, $136,100, $141,100 and $145,900.
MLB: Would expand postseason from 10 to 14 teams, with wild cards increasing from two per league to four. Division winner with best record in each league would advance directly to Division Series, and the other two division winners and wild-card teams would start in a best-of-three round.
The division winner with the second-best record would choose its opponent from among the three lowest-seeded wild-card teams. The division winner with the third-best record would then get to pick from among the remaining two wild cards. The top wild card would face whichever team is left over after the division winners make their choices.
MLBPA: 12-team expanded playoffs and possible realignment to two divisions per league, subject to agreement on MLBPA economic proposals. Three-division plan would result in 8-to-16 additional games and two-division plan in 10-to-18.
MLB has offered to accept MLBPA’s proposal to extend the designated hitter to the National League, subject to agreement on postseason expansion. The DH has been used in the American League since 1973 and was used in both leagues during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
MLBPA proposed cutting the amateur draft from 40 rounds to 20, which MLB accepted.
MLB: Proposed adding uniform and helmet advertising patches.
MLBPA: Would agree, subject to agreement on MLBPA economic proposals.
MLBPA: Proposed annual revenue sharing by clubs be lowered by $30 million.
MLB: Disputes the calculation in MLBPA proposal and says it will not agree to any changes in a system that has been largely in place since the 1997 agreement.
MLB has proposed an international draft, which the MLBPA has long opposed.
MLBPA: Proposed a limit of four optional assignments, without the tie to minor league reserve minimum.
MLB: Withdrew proposed limit of five optional assignments to the minor leagues in any season for a player, tied to MLBPA agreeing to allowing MLB the flexibility to reduce the number of players with minor league contracts from 180 to 150 per major league team in future seasons.
ON-FIELD RULES CHANGES
MLB proposed a joint committee, including at least four active players, to discuss potential on-field rule changes.
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