New York (AFP) – Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred canceled another 93 games of next season on Wednesday, adding to the pressure on players and appearing to negate the last chance to play a full 162-game season.
Cancellation will mean loss of salary and service time for players.
After the two sides seemed to have come close to several issues, they got stuck in the amateur draft issue. Subsequently, the major league office announced that two additional series per team, through April 13, had been cancelled. This brought the number of games removed from the calendar to 184, 7.6% of the 2,430 games making up the season.
“In a last-ditch effort to preserve the 162-game season, we have made good faith proposals this week that address specific concerns raised by the Players’ Association that would have allowed players to return to the field immediately,” Manfred said. statment.
“Given the logistical facts of the calendar, two more series will be withdrawn from this calendar, which means the opening day will be postponed until April 14.”
Players’ negotiators took steps earlier in the day to approach Major League Baseball’s proposals, but ended up denouncing what they saw as a new lobbying action.
“The owners’ decision to cancel additional games is completely unnecessary,” the union said in a statement. “After submitting a series of sweeping proposals to the league this afternoon and receiving notice that substantial feedback is coming, the players haven’t heard of it.”
Meanwhile, leaders have proposed a new option for the union to shorten the agreement so that it expires in 2024.
This would lead to further negotiations.
Despite narrowing differences over the three most thorny issues under discussion, club owners continued to push to defend the long-standing goal of an international amateur project.
Players have rejected the proposal since July 28, when it was submitted.
Major League Baseball has warned that it will not introduce a new counter-proposal to players unless the league first chooses one of three options:
1. Access to the International Draft in exchange for eliminating the direct compensation of the Amateur Project for qualified free agents.
2. Retaining the return in return for withdrawing the major disciplines of the proposal from the international draft.
3. Withdraw the compensation, giving players until November 15 to accept the international draft that will begin in 2024 and giving Major League Baseball the right to reopen the collective bargaining agreement after that season if the players do not accept the draft.
On the 98th day of baseball’s first layoff since 1995, the last alternative was leaving open the possibility of another labor dispute in less than three years.
The players rejected all three options. Instead, they suggested reducing compensation for this year, either by agreeing to the November 15 draft for both sides, or returning to the 2022-23 season’s compensation.
The campaign was originally scheduled to open on March 31. If games are canceled through April 14 and players do not receive the approved service time in a final deal, the free agent eligibility for many members may be delayed.
In the case of Shohei Ohtani, it would take 2023 to 24; in the house of Alonso, from 24 to 25; At Jake Cronenworth’s, 25 to 26, and at Jonathan India, 26 to 27.
Players lowered their cap on triggering a so-called luxury tax, to $232 million this year. The limit will rise to 235 million in 2023, 240 million in 2024, 245 million in 2025, and 250 million in 2026.
The Players Association raised between $238 million and $263 million in its previous proposal a week ago. It is now 2.5% of the initial figure suggested by owners on Tuesday of 230 million.
By 2026, players will be within 3.2% of Major League Baseball’s $242 million supply.
The owners’ desire aims to implement a fourth tax ceiling that is more than $60 million more than the first. It is one of the points that continues to generate the greatest contradictions.
Players have reduced the proposed bonus fund for players not yet eligible for salary arbitration from $80 million to $65 million. The day before, major companies had raised their bid from 30 million to 40.
The union is asking for annual increases of 5 million, while the leaders will keep the same amount for five years.
Similarly, the union lowered the minimum wage offer from $725,000 to $710,000. The number will rise to $780,000 by 2026.
The clubs are proposing $700,000 this year, a sum that will rise to $770,000.
Athletic was the first outlet to report on union bonus fund proposals and luxuries taxes.
At varying intervals, the parties spent 16 and a half hours during a round of negotiations that began on Tuesday and ended at 3 am on Wednesday. They took a break so the players’ union could hold a conference call with its executive board.
Amid a mixture of rain and snow, union chief negotiator Bruce Meyer and attorney Ian Penny headed to the MLB offices to present the new bids and then returned to the union headquarters.
Under the proposed international draft, teams would rotate the picks in different quarters of the first round over a four-year period. An allotment system, similar to the one agreed upon by the union, will be implemented as of 2012 for the Amateur Project covering residents of the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada.
The draft international proposal includes strict assignments that individuals cannot negotiate. The major leagues estimate an additional 17 million in additional expenses for designated international players, above the 166.3 million spent by 30 teams in 2021, plus the 6 million players not going through the draft.
Recruitment will start in 2024.
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