The MLB lockout has stretched for two months, with an end out of sight.
The MLB Players Association and the Major League Baseball bargaining representatives met in New York City in early January, to discuss the current MLB owner lockout. The most critical takeaway from the meeting is players are asking for free agency not to be tied to a player’s age along with their amount of MLB playing time.
As in all sports, as players start to get older, the harder it is for teams to see their value. In this case, the players don’t want their age or years played in the MLB to be a factor in getting a roster spot on a team.
Age can also play a large role in how much money a player is paid. Since teams don’t see them as “key” players, they may not get the money they want or expect to make.
Some other things that were discussed were ideas such as raising the minimum salary and making more money available to super two players, a subvert of players who qualify for arbitration four times rather than the usual three based on the player’s service time in the MLB.
Arbitration is a process in which a group of representatives from the Players Association get together to discuss how much a player is worth in regard to salary and chooses how much the player will make. Currently, these players are not yet eligible to be a free agent due to not reaching terms on a contract before a certain deadline.
The core issue being deliberated is that the average player salary has declined as the franchise values reach higher and higher numbers. The union wants to change the economic structure with the implementation of paying younger players more money a lot sooner.
These young players are the future of Major League Baseball and they are grossly underpaid in terms of how much money the organizations make on a yearly basis.
Major League Baseball has been in a lockout since Dec. 2, a decision made by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred. He supported his decision in an open letter.
“We hope that the lockout will jumpstart the negotiations and get us to an agreement that will allow the season to start on time,” Manfred wrote.
As the MLB lockout reaches its third month, the calendar has turned to February. Normally, this would be the time for MLB teams to start packing their trucks full of equipment and delivering them to spring training camps. This year, all of that has been put on a hold.
Free-agent reliever Steve Cishek said in an interview, “I had a couple setbacks to getting ready for the season, so it’s just tough gauging whether I need to push it and get ready or take my time.”
Cishek, with over 600 games played in the MLB with six different teams, is no stranger to change. But many other players have voiced their opinion on the situation explaining it as “not ideal.”
As players and staff have yet to hit the panic button, the pressure has risen a bit due to the fact that pitchers and catchers are supposed to report on Feb. 15, only 44 days from Opening Day. Currently, the dates of players reporting to spring training is unknown.
This is most likely the last week to reach a deal that would allow a timely start to spring training and the MLB season. Owners are supposed to meet from February 8-10 in Orlando, Flor., making it less likely that an agreement will be met over those days. Players, fans, and staff are all hoping for a timely start to the season and we all hope that there is an agreement met in a timely matter.