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Lockdown MLB still likely to be MLBPA, league tipped to host last-minute talks in Texas

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At 11:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday, baseball’s collective bargaining agreement — the contract that allows MLB and the MLB Players Association to conduct business — will expire, at which point the owner expected to lock the player. This would be baseball’s first shutdown since the 1994-95 players’ strike. Here’s everything you need to know about the hidden owner’s door lock.

MLB and the MLBPA are holding last-minute sessions this week near Dallas, and on Monday, the league once again proposed an expanded format of 14 teams after the season. On Tuesday, the MLBPA approved MLB’s latest proposal, and the two sides will meet again on Wednesday, presumably until 11:59 p.m. ET.

Here are some of the items in the latest MLBPA proposal, according to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers:

  • Free agent at age 29 1/2 or after five years of service, whichever comes first.
  • Players become qualified referees after two seasons instead of three.
  • Expanded 12 teams post-season with redesigned leagues into two divisions each.
  • The luxury tax threshold increased from $210 million to $240 million.
  • Advertising stickers on uniforms.

Ultimately, the money will determine when a new CBA is reached. Baseball is a $10 billion a year business, and how that $10 billion is distributed will be at the core of the lockdown. There are other issues to deal with (rule changes, etc.) and those are important as well, but the money is the biggest problem. The lockout will not end until the money issue is resolved.

Reports suggest that the MLB and the MLBPA are still very far apart on economic issues, so getting a new CBA before the current one expires on Wednesday is considered a long way at best. The federation wants to put more money in the pockets of younger players and combat anti-competitive practices (i.e. hitting the tank), Among other things.

Once the lockup begins, the MLB is expected to implement a transaction freeze, halting all transactions involving players on the 40 list (i.e. union members). That has contributed to the recent flurry of free agency deals. Players who want to close their payday before the weeks-long (month?) lockdown is uncertain.

The lockout would be the MLB’s first job stoppage since the 1994-95 strike and the fourth lockout in baseball history. The previous three lockdowns took place in 1973 (12 days), 1976 (13 days) and 1990 (32 days) and did not result in any of the regular games of the season being postponed or cancelled.

https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/mlb-lockout-remains-likely-as-mlbpa-league-reportedly-hold-last-minute-talks-in-texas/ Lockdown MLB still likely to be MLBPA, league tipped to host last-minute talks in Texas

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