The Major League Baseball season will not start on time.
The first two series of the 2022 season will be canceled after the MLB Players Association unanimously rejected the owners’ final proposal before a 5 p.m. ET deadline on Tuesday. The season was scheduled to open on March 31.
“The calendar dictates that we’re not going to be able to play the first two series of the regular season and those games are officially canceled,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said.
The commissioner added the union reps will be heading home after days of marathon talks trying to hammer out a Collective Bargaining Agreement. This means at the earliest, discussions could pick up again on Thursday.
MLB’s final proposal, which was delivered before 4 p.m. Tuesday, featured an increase from $25 million to $30 million in a pre-arbitration bonus pool each year for the length of the deal, while the union wants to begin with $85 million in the pool and go up by $5 million each year. On collective balance tax thresholds, the league’s last offer remained the same as its previous one, which started at $220 million and was flat for three years before going up to $224 million in Year 4 and $230 million in Year 5. The union wants to start at $238 million with raises to $244 million, $250 million, $256 million and end at $263 million.
The league also increased its proposal for minimum salaries from $675,000 to $700,000, moving up $10,000 per year. Those figures are based on there being an increase to 12 postseason teams and the addition of five lottery slots in the draft.
The New York Post added some background on how things fell apart, leading to the cancellation of the games.
Upon receiving the offer at about 4 o’clock, an hour before the 5 o’clock deadline, the players held a Zoom call with their player representatives and Executive Subcommittee and came away with the strong sentiment that they wouldn’t accept. Particularly galling to the players was the owners’ refusal to go up any further on their competitive-balance tax offer.
The MLBPA released a statement after the games were canceled.
Players union official statement https://t.co/ovLQly9jv3
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) March 1, 2022