We heard about a lot of talk regarding an international draft in the discussions of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), but without a final deal in place today, the 2022 regular season debut has been delayed again, to April 14.
The 2022 regular season was initially slated to open March 31, but after a lack of progress in earlier talks, MLB postponed the first two series of the season. Those 6-7 games would have been made up with a slight extension of the regular season, as well as the addition of doubleheaders
But the lack of a deal today under a deadline set by MLB caused the cancelation of yet more of the 2022 regular season, though both sides have been reporting progress as of late. So we all suffer.
Here’s the statement from MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred:
“In a last-ditch effort to preserve a 162-game season, this week we have made good-faith proposals that address the specific concerns voiced by the MLBPA and would have allowed the players to return to the field immediately. The Clubs went to extraordinary lengths to meet the substantial demands of the MLBPA. On the key economic issues that have posed stumbling blocks, the Clubs proposed ways to bridge gaps to preserve a full schedule. Regrettably, after our second late-night bargaining session in a week, we remain without a deal.
“Because of the logistical realities of the calendar, another two series are being removed from the schedule, meaning that Opening Day is postponed until April 14th. We worked hard to reach an agreement and offered a fair deal with significant improvements for the players and our fans. I am saddened by this situation’s continued impact on our game and all those who are a part of it, especially our loyal fans.
“We have the utmost respect for our players and hope they will ultimately choose to accept the fair agreement they have been offered.”
This delay make it a lock that we will not see a 162-game season, with MLB reportedly telling player not to expect a full season’s pay–something that’s sure to pop up again in negotiations.
The breaking point for this delay: owners had again pushed an international draft and were willing to make other tradeoffs to allow it to happen in 2024. While the players association isn’t necessarily against the idea of an International draft, the feeling is that it would require plenty of planning and input from all affected parties. Hence the proposed 2024 launch date.
The union rejected the league’s three options with the draft, but offered an alternate proposal, per person familiar:— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) March 9, 2022
No draft pick compensation, Nov. 15 to agree to an international draft
Indeed, the fact remains that the two sides are very close on a variety of topics–CBT, minimum wages, etc.
For those keeping score at home, April 15 marks baseball’s annual celebration of Jackie Robinson’s debut in the bigs.
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