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MLB, MLBPA Gearing Up For a Big Week of CBA Negotiations

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It’s no secret that frustration has been growing from the lack of a new agreement between the league and the union as the lockout grows longer. From the two sides trying to work things out to the fans, the longer the lockout goes on, the more the frustration level increases.

It is now to the point where if an agreement is not reached soon, in addition to spring training continuing to get pushed back, the start of the regular season may also be delayed. In an effort to avoid this, the two sides are expected to have increased negotiations and meetings this week, having already started on Monday.

Both sides were at the complex meeting in Jupiter, Florida on Monday for a few hours, with actual face-to-face meetings between the two sides lasting for approximately 90 minutes. While again no deal was reached, and no real strides were made for that matter, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the tone of the meetings was improved which could help things moving forward. Even so, the union was largely underwhelmed by the latest proposal from the league.

Of the topics covered in Monday’s meeting, the league withdrew their request that asked for them to control and reduce the the sizes of minor league rosters, at least for now. Additionally, the league upped their pre-arbitration bonus pool from $5M to $20M — still a considerable gap from the union’s latest request of $115M.

Among the other alterations from the league included withdrawing their offer to limit options to five, as well as increasing the number of teams that would be entered into the draft lottery from three to four. For comparison, the league asked for eight teams.

One topic that was not addressed was CBT revisions, which remains one of the most important aspects of the new collective bargaining agreement. The union is still awaiting a response from the league on that front. Among the other pressing issues include minimum salary, the number of players that would qualify for “super two” status, etc.

Both sides are reportedly set to meet again on Tuesday, as well as every day the rest of this week as the urgency builds. On Tuesday, expect the union to offer amendments and alterations to their previous asks from their last proposal to the league.

As reported earlier, it will take a four-week spring training to be sufficient enough for players to be ready to begin the grind of the regular season. If no deal is reached by the end of this week, the start of the scheduled regular season date of March 31 is in serious jeopardy. The Pirates are scheduled to host the St. Louis Cardinals on Opening Day.

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