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MLB cancels opening day after sides fail to reach lockout deal

MLB negotiations stall out, downtown Denver businesses could be collateral damage
Posted at 9:20 AM, Mar 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-01 19:23:26-05

JUPITER, Fla. — Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred announced Tuesday that the league has canceled opening day after MLBPA's unanimously rejected the owners' “best and final” offer before a self-imposed 5 p.m. deadline Tuesday.

According to the Associated Press, Manfred said the first two series of the season were also canceled which will now see the schedule go from 162 games to likely 156 games at most.

According to multiple reports, the MLBPA's unanimously rejected the owners' “best and final” offer before a self-imposed 5 p.m. deadline Tuesday.

The MLBPA said it remains united and committed to negotiating a fair deal in a statement issued Tuesday.

"Rob Manfred and MLB’s owners have cancelled the start of the season. Players and fans around the world who love baseball are disgusted, but sadly not surprised.

From the beginning of these negotiations, Players’ objectives have been consistent—to promote competition, provide fair compensation for young Players, and to uphold the integrity of our market system. Against the backdrop of growing revenues and record profits, we are seeking nothing more than a fair agreement.

What Rob Manfred characterized as a “defensive lockout” is, in fact, the culmination of a decades-long attempt by owners to break our Player fraternity. As in the past, this effort will fail. We are united and committed to negotiating a fair deal that will improve the sport for Players, fans and everyone who loves our game."

After making progress during 16 1/2 hours of bargaining Monday, the sides exchanged new offers Tuesday and remained far apart.

According to the AP, the league's final proposal, which was delivered before 4 p.m. ET on Monday included:

- MLB proposed to increase the offer for a new bonus pool for pre-arbitration players from $25 million to $30 million. The union wanted to begin with $85 million in the pool and go up by $5 million each year.
- MLB wanted to raise the luxury tax threshold from $210 million to $220 million in each of the next three seasons, $224 million in 2025, and $230 in 2026. Players wanted $238 million this year, $244 million in 2023, $250 million in 2024, $256 million in 2025, and $263 in 2026.
- MLB proposed raising the minimum salary from $570,500 to $700,000 this year. The union asked for $725,000 this year, $745,000 in 2023, and $765,000 in 2024.

Players have been locked out of MLB facilities since Dec. 2, when a collective bargaining agreement between players and owners expired. Both sides did not meet until Jan. 13, when owners gave their first offer.

Players and owners have been at odds over several key issues, including luxury tax thresholds for teams with high player salaries, a potential rule that would require teams to spend a certain amount each year on player salaries, arbitration eligibility and potential changes to league revenue sharing among teams.

The current lockout marks the first MLB work stoppage since 1994, when a player strike canceled the World Series and extended into the first few weeks of the 1995 season.