Well, I don’t think that was unexpected. MLB and the MBPA failed to come to an agreement yesterday, and as a result, the baseball regular season will not be starting on time.
Commissioner Rob Manfred announced that for now, the first two series of the year will be cancelled — that’s assuming an agreement is come to in a timely fashion; more games could still be cancelled pending negotiations — which means that the Pittsburgh Pirates are slated to begin the season on April 7 in St. Louis against the Cardinals according to a team letter sent out to season ticket holders.
The home opener is now scheduled for Tuesday, April 12 against the Chicago Cubs, and fans with tickets for the original home opener will now be able to use them on the 12th. Anyone with tickets for the old April 12 game along with games scheduled on April 2 and 3 will receive credits to put towards another game in the season.
MLB’s final offer would have meant nearly $500 million in additional compensation for pre-arbitration players through a 23% increase in minimum salary and a $30 million pre-arbitration bonus pool. It would have also increased the competitive balance tax threshold to $220 million, a jump from $214 million in 2021. The MLBPA was reportedly seeking an $85 million bonus pool for pre-arbitration players and a competitive balance tax threshold starting at $238 million.
“It got to be like 12:30 and the fine print of their CBT proposal was stuff we had never seen before,” Stripling said. “They were trying to sneak things through us, it was like they think we’re dumb baseball players and we get sleepy after midnight or something. It’s like that stupid football quote, they are who we thought they were. They did exactly what we thought they would do. They pushed us to a deadline that they imposed, and then they tried to sneak some shit past us at that deadline and we were ready for it. We’ve been ready for five years. And then they tried to flip it on us today in PR, saying that we’ve changed our tone and tried to make it look like it was our fault. That never happened.”
So it sounds like a lot of the fun could just be beginning. Manfred is on record saying teams need a full four weeks of Spring Training to get ready for the season, so that means there’s only a few days left before the April 7 date could be pushed back again.
Fun times, baseball fans.