MLB cancels 93 games after talks fail

MLB canceled 93 more regular-season games after talks with the Major League Baseball Players Association broke down on Wednesday, pushing opening day until at least April 14. Although the sides narrowed down many financial differences, negotiations were hampered by management’s attempt to obtain an international draft.

The league and the union diluted the gap in economic aspects such as the luxury tax, the pre-arbitration bonus fund and the minimum salary, however, when the players asked for the elimination of the qualifying offer, MLB told the players that it was mandatory to choose one of three options to continue with the talks: accept an international draft and teams would eliminate the qualifying offer that adds a draft pick to out of work players; uphold the qualifying offer in exchange for MLB abandoning the draft international proposal; or eliminate the qualifying offer while giving players until Nov. 15 to accept an international draft starting in 2024 and giving the league the right to reopen the labor contract after the 2024 season if players don’t accept the draft.

This last alternative would leave open the possibility of another labor dispute in less than three years. Faced with the ultimatum, the MLBPA decided not to choose any.

“I was in Florida. We never offered the International Draft. We discussed it, but MLB told us that they were NOT going to offer anything for him. At that time, we informed all the players and agreed not to draft. This is MLB muddying the waters and deflecting blame. Fans, please stay there with us,” Max Scherzer, a member of the MLBPA’s executive subcommittee, reacted on social media.

That is why Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred eliminated two regular season series for the second week in a row, for a total of 184 games lost. With this setback, the 2022 season is unlikely to contain 162 games.

“On the key economic issues that have posed obstacles, the clubs proposed ways to close the gaps to preserve a full schedule. Unfortunately, after our second overnight trading session in a week, we are still not reaching an agreement,” Manfred said in a statement.

According to ESPN, from $238 million, players lowered their luxury tax threshold to $232 million this year, rising to $235 million in 2023, $240 million in 2024, and $245 million in 2025 and $250 million in 2026.

The players lowered their pre-arbitration bonus offer for eligible players to $65 million from $80 million, a day after MLB increased its offer from $30 million to $40 million. The union is asking for annual raises of 5 million, while management’s offer is the same for all five years.

The Athletic reported that the union has cut its proposed minimum wage from 725,000 to 710,000, a number that will rise to 780,000 by 2026. Management wants 700,000 this year, rising to 770,000 at the end of the five years.

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