MLB lockout: League and players’ union will be back at the bargaining table tomorrow
Major League Baseball and its players’ union met face-to-face on Monday and plan to start again on Tuesday, according to multiple reports. including USA Today.
That alone counts as good news, although there is a lot of work to be done to reach an agreement ending the lockdown which has now lasted for seven weeks.
The Athletic and other sites have reported that the union no longer sought to reduce the length of service necessary for free will. Players are currently reaching free agency after six years; there had been talks of a new modified system that would take into account the age of players.
ESPN reported that the union seek arbitration after two seasons. Currently, it’s three years for the majority of players (with some Super 2 players reaching the threshold earlier).
Despite some small signs of progress, ESPN said the meeting was “contentious” as the two sides met face-to-face (rather than virtually) for the first time since the dispute began.
“At the risk of being Debbie Downer: let’s not get too far ahead here”, ESPN’s Jeff Passan wrote.
“The meeting was controversial. There is still a lot – a lot – to settle before there is a new employment contract. It could still take a while. But the fact that he didn’t back down when he could have? W.”
Spring training lasts three weeks. The Detroit Tigers are scheduled to open the season in Seattle on March 31.