MLB has said it also wants to improve the competitive balance between teams, but has proposed ways to do that other than the union. Among the proposals, some of which have been rejected by the union: an NBA-style lottery format for the first three choices in the design that could help prevent so-called fueling, a salary cap for clubs ($100 million) and lower luxuries tax threshold ($180 million) – or more modest luxury tax threshold increases (starting at $214 million) without a bottom but with steeper rates to pass, overhaul of the salary arbitration system, smaller increases in the competition’s minimum wages, forcing free agencies based on of age and expanding the playoffs (from 10 to 14 teams), which would bring more revenue.
In recent proposals, MLB has shown willingness to move away from the qualifying offer system, which awards draft picks to select free-agent players, while offering the players an extended 12-team postseason.
On Wednesday afternoon at the players’ hotel, Andrew Miller, a top union representative who pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals this year, and Meyer walked out with Dick Monfort, the owner of the Colorado Rockies and chairman of the league’s labor committee; Dan Halem, MLB chief negotiator; and Patrick Houlihan, MLB’s deputy general counsel. Seven minutes later, the MLB officials returned, gathered their belongings, and left.
The players were then informed that no more MLB meetings were scheduled for the remainder of the day. About nine hours later, MLB implemented the lockout.
“We remain determined to return to the field under the terms of a negotiated collective bargaining agreement that is fair to all parties,” the union said, “and offers fans the best version of the game we all love.”
Manfred added: “Today is a difficult day for baseball, but as I’ve been saying all year, there is a way to a fair agreement, and we will find it. I have no doubts about the league and the players share a fundamental appreciation for this game and a dedication to the fans. I remain optimistic that both sides will seize the opportunity to work together to grow, protect and enhance the game we love.”