Nplayers union and major league negotiators planned meet this Monday in person for the first time since December 1, the day that began the first stoppage of activities in baseball since 1995.
The players have contemplated present a counter offer to the owners, 11 days after the teams submitted a proposal to the union when negotiations restarted after a 42-day break.
There is little room for maneuver to reach an agreement and so be able to start spring training on time, on February 16.
The first day of the regular season, March 31, is also at risk., because players would first have to report to their teams, undergo COVID-19 protocols and complete at least three weeks of training, including a certain number of exhibition games.
Players will not receive salary until the start of the regular season and owners receive a minimum percentage of profits during the winter break. These factors favor the conditions for little progress in the negotiations. The pressure would be felt in mid-February, when economic losses are imminent.
Major League Baseball’s ninth work stoppage began on December 2, immediately after the expiration of a collective agreement that was in force for five years.
Dissatisfied because wages fell by 4%, remaining at the level of 2015, the players ask for significant changes in free agency and salary arbitration.
The bosses do not want to give up anything in terms of free agency, salary arbitration or profit redistribution, but they presented the most recent offer in search of reactivating the negotiations.