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Key proposals in Major League Baseball labor negotiations

February 19, 2022 GMT

NEW YORK (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. 17, as obtained The Associated Press. This is only a partial list of bargaining topics:

FREE AGENCY

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:

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— $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.

SALARY ARBITRATION

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 80% 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 $15 million to be split among 30 players.

SERVICE TIME

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 20 at each position in each league by WAR, or the top seven, 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.

LUXURY TAX

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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.

AMATEUR DRAFT

MLB: Proposed an NBA/NHL-style draft lottery for top three selections.

MLBPA: Accepted the concept of a weighted lottery but would expand the number of teams to eight and make adjustments designed to incentivize competition.

MINIMUM SALARY

MLB: Proposed raising from $570,500 to $630,000 in 2022 or, alternatively, a tiered minimum of $615,000 for initial major leaguers, $650,000 for players with one year of service and $725,000 for those with two years. The single tier would rise by $10,000 annually, to $670,000 by 2026. Each would tier would rise $10,000 annually, to $640,000, $690,000 and $740,000 in 2026.

MLBPA: Proposed raising it to $775,000 in 2022 and gradually to $875,000 by 2026.

Both sides proposed raises in the minor league minimum for players with major league contracts, which in 2021 was $46,600 for a player signing his initial major league contract and $93,000 for a player signing a second or later major league contract.

POSTSEASON

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.

DESIGNATED HITTER

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.

AMATEUR DRAFT

MLBPA proposed cutting the amateur draft from 40 rounds to 20, which MLB accepted.

UNIFORMS ADVERTISEMENTS

MLB: Proposed adding uniform and helmet advertising patches.

MLBPA: Would agree, subject to agreement on MLBPA economic proposals.

REVENUE SHARING

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.

INTERNATIONAL DRAFT

MLB has proposed an international draft, which the MLBPA has long opposed.

OPTIONAL ASSIGNMENTS

MLB: Proposed a limit of five optional assignments to the minor leagues in any season for a player as part of package of 28 items that also includes 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.

MLBPA: Proposed a limit of four optional assignments, without the tie to minor league reserve minimum.

ON-FIELD RULES CHANGES

MLB proposed a joint committee, including at least four active players, to discuss potential on-field rule changes.

LENGTH

Five years.

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