MLB union chief Tony Clark, right, and lead union negotiator Bruce Meyer at a press conference last Thu Jan 6, 2022 in Arlington. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, Clark and Meyer hope to solve the lockout as MLB and the Players Union meet Thu Jan 13, 2022 (AP News photo)
MLB and Players Union to meet Thursday January 13
That’s Amaury News and Commentary
By Amaury Pi-González
Commissioner Rob Manfred on behalf of MLB announced the current lock-out on December 2, 2021.
Here some of the most interesting issues they are hope to address and eventually come to agreement.
1-Minimum salary: A rookie at the end of 2021 salary was $570,000. The players union is looking for a raise that could go for a minimum of between $700,000 to $750,000 and there could be a compromise here. Today baseball rookies have the lowest salary among the four top pro-sports league. Here are the others: NBA: $925,000, NHL: $775,000, NFL $660,000. While MLS is $81,000. (All players have to pay taxes and a fee to their respective agents)
2-Free Agent: Today a rookie becomes a free agent when he reaches his sixth year of service. The MLBPA thinks it should be five years, not six. Unlike the minimum salary this one could be tougher to come to an agreement as the owners do not see it the same way as the players. You cannot ‘split the baby’ here, is either one or the other. The owners always want to keep a player under control for as long as they can.
3-Expanding the Playoffs: This one is about the owners wanting to have 14 teams in the playoffs, while the players want 12. Of course with 14 teams there will be more revenues. But some say it diminishes competition, the season is already a long 162 game campaign. But, do you want a team with 75 wins to be in the Playoffs? However, there is Money here and never bet against money. Television loves this. I think there is a good chance this makes it to the owner’s delight of 14 playoff teams.
4-NBA Style Draft Lottery: If above is approved and the postseason expands to 14 teams then the remaining 16 teams in MLB would enter a draft lottery like in basketball.
5-Universal Designated Hitter: There is plenty to chew here. I know many fans and regular media people that are split on this and I have heard all sides. One: Why should David “Big Papi” Ortíz be a Hall of Famer, he was a one-dimensional player, a hitter. The other side: Yes, true, but he played for 20 years and hit 541 home runs and was a leader. For those that forgot already, as a rookie in 1997 Ortíz played 15 games at first base for his first team, the Minnesota Twins. Like it or Not, the DH is going to the National League, just like the Umpires used to wear different garb in the AL and the NL and for decades now they all wear the same.
Other topics: Revenue Sharing, Salary Arbitration, Remove Qualifying Offer and like always some tax matters than are way too boring even for some very bored accountants.
Finally: Like any negotiations of this magnitude, no one side is going to get everything they want. My father used to say “a half loaf of bread is better than no bread at all”. Let’s hope that they can come to something of an agreement that would satisfy both owners and players. For the good of the game.
Amaury Pi Gonzalez does News and Commentary podcasts each Tuesdays at http://www.sportsradioservice.com