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MLB, MLBPA Reportedly Clear Two Big Hurdles in Labor Negotiations

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As the calendar flips to March, no new collective bargaining agreement has been agreed to, but there seems to be some real progress and optimism that a deal can be reached. According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, both the league and the union have agreed to a new playoff format and luxury tax threshold penalties. Both elements have been considered to be two of the biggest hang-ups that have held up a new deal.

Expanding the number of playoff teams from 10 seemed inevitable, as the league wanted there to be a 14-team playoff while the union instead wanted 12 teams in the postseason. After weeks of debate, the sides have settled on a dozen teams, a win in favor of the union.

The reported CBT threshold penalties agreement will reportedly be the same as it was under the previous CBA, though there is expected to be a adjustments tot he threshold itself though those changes are not yet known.

Additionally, per Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith, both sides have agreed to a framework for the pre-arbitration bonus pool, though the pool amount itself is still in question.

Though no deal is yet complete, the two sides are expected to continue to meet and negotiate into the early hours of Tuesday. Both sides have been in negotiations since roughly 10 o’clock Monday morning with nearly a dozen face-to-face meetings with one another. Commissioner Rob Manfred set a soft deadline for a new deal for the last day of February, but as the sides continue to make some progress, the deadline can get extended.

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