MLB, MLBPA take first step towards ending lockout with meeting on the calendar

MLB and MLBPA take a significant step towards ending the lockout with a meeting on the books for Jan. 13, their first meeting since Dec. 2. 

It’s been a frigid month for baseball fans, as all MLB activity — and thereby news updates — have been rather slow in what should have been the continuation of a bustling winter offseason. Perhaps Freddie Freeman and Carlos Correa would have signed somewhere by now, but the MLB lockout brought all league interactions with players to a screeching halt.

Now, the fog may be lifting as the MLB and MLBPA are set to meet on Jan. 13 for a bargaining session, their first major negotiation since the lockout began.

MLB lockout: Owners, MLBPA to finally meet

The decision to meet and discuss a core economics package presents the first major discussion of any central issue in the league-players’ union talks. While the two sides have met a few times to discuss lesser issues, there has been “no discussion on the most contentious issues since the start of the lockout.

The core economics package refers to the crux of the MLB CBA, which stipulates how and how much money MLB players can make in the upcoming decade.  Both sides have submitted various versions of their ideal economics package, with the MLBPA submitting their second version last November after their initial version was released last May.

The MLBPA’s first offer included “an alteration to the draft order, a higher league minimum salary, elevated luxury tax thresholds, alterations to the revenue sharing system, and an unspecified change in how service time is calculated,” among other stipulations.

The MLB responded last August with their own visualization of the MLB’s future, which included “lowered luxury tax thresholds with an accompanying salary floor, an age-based system in which players first reach free agency at 29.5 years old, and a revenue-based pool system to replace the current arbitration structure.” MLB is also interested in an international draft, which could greatly affect the significant amount of baseball talent recruited from overseas.

The MLBPA has reportedly been waiting for MLB to bring their new economics package to the table, although Jan. 13 could still be a little late. The two sides only have a little over a month until spring training games begin on Feb. 26, leaving a narrow window to accomplish the task of the decade.

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