Negotiations between representatives of the owners and the locked-out players reconvened at 10 a.m. Monday in Jupiter, Fla., with a wide gap still evident between the two sides’ positions.
Here’s a quick look at some of the major open issues reported entering the day:
- Luxury tax: Also known as the competitive balance tax, this is MLB’s mechanism for discouraging teams from spending beyond a certain level. In their latest known proposals, the owners are seeking to begin the financial and draft-pick penalties at a 2022 payroll of $214 million, while the players are seeking a $245 million threshold. There’s also disagreement between the two sides on what the penalties should be for exceeding those levels.
- Salary arbitration: The union wants to increase the number of players eligible. The owners do not. While all players with at least three years in the majors would remain arbitration-eligible until reaching free agency, the union’s latest proposal calls for expanding eligibility to 35% of players with between two and three years of service time, up from 22% of that group in the previous agreement. The owners haven’t been open to any increase. The two sides also remain far apart on the size of a new bonus pool that would be distributed among pre-arbitration players.
- Expanded playoffs: The owners favor increasing the playoffs from 10 teams to 14. The players prefer a 12-team postseason but might go to 14 as a tradeoff for other considerations in an overall deal.
- Revenue sharing: The players want to reduce the amount of local revenue that is shared among teams, while the owners want no change.
- Minimum salary: The owners have proposed raising it from $570,500 last season to $640,000 this year. The players have proposed an increase to $775,000.
For now, the defending World Series champion Braves are scheduled to open the regular season in Miami against the Marlins on March 31 and to play their home opener April 7 against Cincinnati before a sellout crowd at Truist Park. But the clock is ticking against such plans.