Saturday was to be the big meeting between Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association, what Jeff Passan of ESPN called "The most important meeting yet.".   A day after MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred expressed optimism that the season would start on time, the two sides met.  And all indications are that the meeting was an hour-long bust.

Here's a breakdown of what has been reported from the negotiations:

The Meeting Was Only an Hour

At 2:01 p.m., Bob  Nightengale of USA Today reported that the 1:00 meeting had already ended.  That means that the meeting took only an hour, or even less.

Players "Unimpressed"

Nightengale noted that the MLBPA was "unimpressed" with what MLB brought to the negotiating table today.

MLB Made Modest Increases on Two Key Issues

Evan Drellich of the Athletic reported two key points:

  • MLB increased their offer of a pre-arbitration bonus pool from $5 million to $15 million.  That means the two sides are now $85 million apart, as opposed to $95 million apart.
  • MLB showed a willingness to increase the Competitive Balance Tax threshold by an extra $2 million in 2023, 2024, and 2025
  • MLB indicated they would increase minimum salaries either to $630,000 or a three-tier system that maxed out at $725,000

Any Reason for Optimism?

So it's "not as terrible."  Is that somewhat terrible?

So Where are We With Spring Training and the Season?

It's pretty clear that Spring Training will not begin Wednesday as would have been the case.  The Phillies have not packed their truck or headed south.  Minor leaguers (anyone not on a 40-man roster) should be reporting to camp as usual and will train as usual.

The Grapefruit League schedule of exhibition games will need to be adjusted.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred indicated that Spring Training would have to begin by March 1 for the season to start on time.   However, some have expressed that it could take as long as three weeks to get everyone to Spring Training.  March 1 is just 17 days away.

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