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Key proposals in Major League Baseball labor negotiations

February 27, 2022 GMT

JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — Some of the key areas in collective bargaining between Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association as of proposals through Feb. 26, as obtained The Associated Press. This is only a partial list of bargaining topics:

FREE AGENCY

MLB and MLBPA would keep existing system in which six seasons of major league service are required.

FREE AGENT DRAFT PICK COMPENSATION

MLB and MLBPA agree to eliminate direct amateur draft-pick compensation, which has existed since 1976 and existed for qualified free agents since 2012.

MLB proposed that a team losing a free agent would receive draft-pick compensation based on revenue-sharing status and whether a club had been over the luxury tax threshold. For a free agent who had spent the entire season with one team, there would would be four compensation tiers based on:

— $25 million in guaranteed salary or $18 million average annual value (AAV)

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— $55 million or $23 million AAV

— $100 million or $30 million AAV

— $150 million or $40 million AAV

SALARY ARBITRATION

MLB: Would retain current system for players with at least three years of service and less than six, plus the top 22% by service time — a group termed Super 2 — with at least two years but less than three, the cutoff since 2013. The Super 2 class began in 1991 at 17%.

MLBPA: Would increase the Super 2 group to include 35% of players by service time with at least two years of service but less than three.

PRE-ARBITRATION BONUS POOL

MLBPA: Proposed a new bonus pool for those not yet eligible for arbitration, who would split $115 million from central revenue, based on WAR, appearances on an all-MLB team and recognition such as best position player, best pitcher and best rookie. Would be split among 150 players.

MLB: Would agree to a new bonus pool, offering $20 million to be split among 30 players.

SERVICE TIME

MLB and MLBPA would credit a full year of major league service to players who finish first or second in Rookie of the Year voting in each league by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, as long as they are among the top 100 prospects and did not spend the full season on the big league roster.

LUXURY TAX

Threshold was $210 million in 2021, with tax rates of 20% for first offenders, 30% for exceeding in consecutive years and 50% for exceeding in three or more consecutive years. Surcharges for exceeding $230 million and $250 million. The second threshold was $230 million last year, with tax rates of 32% for the first offender, 42% for the second and 62% for the third. The third threshold was $250 million, with tax rates of 62.5% for the first offender 75% for the second and 95% for the third.

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MLB: Proposed raising threshold to $214 million in 2022, $215 million ’23, $216 million in ’24, $218 million in ’25 and $222 million in ’26, with the second threshold $20 million above the first and the third threshold $40 million above the first. MLB also proposed increasing the tax rate to 45% for exceeding the first threshold, 62% for exceeding the second and 95% for exceeding the third, with no escalating rate for a team exceeding in successive years. A team would lose a second-round pick for going over the second threshold rather than dropping 10 slots and would forfeit a first-round selection for exceeding the third threshold.

MLBPA: Proposed raising threshold starting at $245 million for the 2022 season. Threshold would increase to $273 million in 2026. Would keep rates of expired agreement and eliminate non-monetary penalties.

AMATEUR DRAFT

Both sides would institute an NBA/NHL-style draft lottery for top six selections. MLB asked to tie an amateur draft lottery to expanding the playoffs to 14 teams.

MINIMUM SALARY

MLB: Proposed raising from $570,500 to $640,000 in 2022, rising by $10,000 annually to $680,000 by 2026.

MLBPA: Proposed raising it to $775,000 in 2022 and then $30,000 annually to $895,000 by 2026. The minor league minimum for players signing their initial major league contracts would rise to $63,200 in 2022, $66,000 in 2023, $68,500 in 2024, $70,900 in 2025 and $73,400 in 2026, and for later contracts to $126,400, $131,200, $136,100, $141,100 and $145,900.

POSTSEASON

MLB: Would expand postseason from 10 to 14 teams, with wild cards increasing from two per league to four. Division winner with best record in each league would advance directly to Division Series, and the other two division winners and wild-card teams would start in a best-of-three round.

The division winner with the second-best record would choose its opponent from among the three lowest-seeded wild-card teams. The division winner with the third-best record would then get to pick from among the remaining two wild cards. The top wild card would face whichever team is left over after the division winners make their choices.

MLBPA: 12-team expanded playoffs and possible realignment to two divisions per league, subject to agreement on MLBPA economic proposals. Three-division plan would result in 8-to-16 additional games and two-division plan in 10-to-18.

DESIGNATED HITTER

MLB has offered to accept MLBPA’s proposal to extend the designated hitter to the National League, subject to agreement on postseason expansion. The DH has been used in the American League since 1973 and was used in both leagues during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.

AMATEUR DRAFT

MLBPA proposed cutting the amateur draft from 40 rounds to 20, which MLB accepted.

UNIFORMS ADVERTISEMENTS

MLB: Proposed adding uniform and helmet advertising patches.

MLBPA: Would agree, subject to agreement on MLBPA economic proposals.

REVENUE SHARING

MLBPA: Would designate additional money from central revenue. Proposed annual revenue sharing by clubs be lowered by $30 million.

MLB: Disputes the calculation in MLBPA proposal and says it will not agree to any changes in a system that has been largely in place since the 1997 agreement.

INTERNATIONAL DRAFT

MLB has proposed an international draft, which the MLBPA has long opposed.

OPTIONAL ASSIGNMENTS

MLBPA: Proposed a limit of five optional assignments, without the tie to minor league reserve minimum.

MLB: Withdrew proposed limit of five optional assignments to the minor leagues in any season for a player, tied to MLBPA agreeing to allowing MLB the flexibility to reduce the number of players with minor league contracts from 180 to 150 per major league team in future seasons.

ON-FIELD RULES CHANGES

MLB proposed on-field rules changes could be made with 45 days’ notice by a committee comprised of six management officials, two union representatives and one umpire. Currently, management can only change rules with union consent or unilaterally with one year notice.

LENGTH

Five years.

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