After MLB and the MLBPA were unable to reach an agreement earlier today to end the MLB lockout, Rob Manfred announced that two more series have been removed from the calendar. The earliest the major league season can start now is April 14.
Much like last week, things looked promising one day before the cancelled games, as the two sides went back and forth well into last night before reconvening this morning. As the day began, all signs pointed to a deal getting done before to preserve a 162-game season with Opening Day happening on April 6. The plan was to extend the regular season by three days while using mutual days off to fill in the remaining games. That won’t happen now.
This time around, it was the international draft that ended up derailing the negotiations, with the players opposing the measure presented by the league. The owners presented three unique options around the international draft and draft pick compensation, but the union rejected all three and countered with their own offer of removing the qualifying offer but having it reverts back if the two sides can’t agree to the international draft by November 15. Following that counter, Manfred announced the removal of games.
The two sides made strides and closed the gap considerably in key areas, including the CBT and the prearbitration pool. In terms of the CBT, the players presented $232M, $235M, $240M, $245M, and $250M over the five years, while the league wanted $230M, $232M, $236M, $240M, and $242M. For the prearbitration pool, the players last offered $65M, compared to the owners’ $40M. For starting salaries, the players proposed $710K and rising to $780K, compared to the owners’ $700K with increases to $770K. It’s hard to predict where things go from here. While the numbers, on the surface, appear close, the two sides seemingly appear miles apart.
For the Mets, this means the earliest they can play a regular season game in 2022 is Friday, April 15 against the Diamondbacks. This latest round of cancellations wiped out a four-game set at the Nationals and a three-game set at Citizens Bank Park against the Phillies. The former would have featured a showdown of Max Scherzer, in his first start as a Met, taking on his former club.