Major League Baseball Lockout: MLBPA makes first proposal since cancelation; league claims offer ‘went backwards’

Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association met for more than 90 minutes on Sunday, which included the MLBPA making a proposal, the first since MLB commissioner Rob Manfred canceled the first two series on the 2022 schedule last week. The sides are still far apart on core economic issues, leading to the possibility that more canceled games could be on the way.

According to The Athletic, the most notable development in the union’s proposal is their willingness to give Manfred and the league the ability to implement three on-field changes with just 45 days’ notice (presently, the league must offer the union a year of notice ahead of such changes.) Those three exceptions include installing a pitch clock, larger bases, and shift restrictions. The rule changes would not be allowed to go into effect until next year, or heading into the 2023 season. The Players Association also dropped its proposed starting point for a pre-arbitration bonus pool to $80 million, down from $85 million.

Despite those changes, the league said the proposal was moving backward, alleging that the MLBPA said verbally in Florida last week that the players were in a different place on the pre-arbitration bonus pool than what they proposed on Sunday. MLB spokesperson Glen Caplin said Sunday afternoon: “We were hoping to see some movement in our direction to give us additional flexibility and get a deal done quickly. The Players Association chose to come back to us with a proposal that was worse than Monday night and was not designed to move the process forward. On some issues, they even went backwards. Simply put, we are deadlocked. We will try to figure out how to respond, but nothing in this proposal makes it easy.”

Editorial credit: Conor P. Fitzgerald / Shutterstock.com