Home Sports MLBPA drops age-based free-agency proposal as negotiations on new labor deal continue: Source – The Athletic

MLBPA drops age-based free-agency proposal as negotiations on new labor deal continue: Source – The Athletic

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MLBPA drops age-based free-agency proposal as negotiations on new labor deal continue: Source – The Athletic

By Evan Drellich
January 24, 2022 11:31 PM EST
112 Comments

In Monday's meeting with MLB, the Players Association dropped its request to introduce an age-based free-agency system into the sport, withdrawing a proposal in one of the three major areas MLB had shown no interest in changing, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Athletic.

That means the amount of service time it takes a player to reach free agency — six years — is most likely going to remain unchanged whenever the sides reach a new deal. The players had previously proposed a system to get some players to free agency after five years if they had reached a certain age: 30 1/2, and then eventually, 29 1/2.

During the meeting, Major League Baseball deputy commissioner Dan Halem said that MLB is willing to lose games over some of the outstanding issues the sides have, people with knowledge of the talks told The Athletic. It's not clear whether Halem was issuing a threat or simply stating the obvious.

With the time-to-free-agency question gone, two of the major topics remaining are whether MLB could become amenable to any changes to revenue sharing and the time it takes a player to reach arbitration.

The union also revised its proposal to alter revenue sharing between the teams — historically, a contentious topic among the owners themselves. The union’s previous proposal on revenue sharing would have reduced the amount of money moving between teams by about $100 million, but Monday's proposal was more modest: a reduction the union estimates to be about $30 million.

Between revenue sharing and free agency, the union feels it made two significant concessions, but also rejected most if not all of what MLB had proposed in the sides’ most recent meeting. MLB wasn’t pleased, however, and there’s no indication the league will budge on revenue sharing with this proposal or any other.

The union’s proposal to get players to arbitration after two years from November went unchanged on Monday. At the time, the league said it had no interest in discussing it. MLB and the union also do not see eye to eye yet on minimum salaries, draft order or competitive balance tax levels.

(Photo: Kevin Dietsch / Getty Images)
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